PRINCETON — Bureau County Republican Editor Terri Simon of Sheffield, an award-winning journalist, columnist and photographer, died Sunday, Sept. 24, at the age of 59 at the University of Iowa Hospital in Iowa City, Iowa.
Simon first joined the Bureau County Republican staff as a part-time photographer in 1994 and was named editor in 2003. She also served as editor of additional Shaw Media publications, including Illinois Valley Living Magazine, the Putnam County Record and Tonica News.
Those who knew Simon appreciated her passion for telling an accurate, well-crafted news story.
Former Princeton Mayor Keith Cain knew Simon for approximately 35 years, both on a personal level through their shared support of Relay for Life and through Simon’s work at the Bureau County Republican.
“Terri was the fairest reporter there ever was. She didn’t make the news, she reported the news,” Cain said.
As with any long-term relationship, there were bumps in the road for Simon and Cain.
“There were times we didn’t agree,” Cain said.
Whenever that happened, Cain said he appreciated Simon’s upfront nature. The two would discuss their differences and move on.
Bureau County Republican Publisher Sam Fisher also had a longtime working relationship with Simon.
“Terri applied for a part-time photographer’s position in 1993 – she got the job. Truth be known, she knew nothing about photography, but she quickly learned and excelled at it.
She wasn’t formally trained as a reporter or editor but that didn’t stop her from mastering that craft as well. It was her style to acknowledge her shortcomings and work hard to overcome them,” Fisher said. “It was her spirit to believe that anything was possible that made her such an invaluable asset to the BCR and the community.”
Simon’s willingness to share her feelings in her columns and to try to understand every source’s point of view gave her credibility with her dedicated readers.
“She had a connection with readers because she focused more on the personal aspect of writing - to her it was all about the people,” Fisher said. “Terri’s passing is a great loss to the BCR and to our community as a whole. She will be profoundly missed by us at the newspaper and the BCR readers whose lives she touched.”
Bureau County Sports Editor Kevin Hieronymus worked for years alongside Simon and was deeply saddened to hear of her death.
“She was my colleague, my boss and my friend. While we had our ups and downs, we became very close over the years and she provided a good sounding board for me. She loved Bureau County and Bureau County loved her back,” Hieronymus said.
In Simon’s memory, the Bureau County Republican will close its office from 8 to 11 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 28.