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Terri Simon loved Bureau County and Bureau County loved her

I believe the Good Lord puts people in your life for a reason.

Your parents.

A childhood friend.

A teacher.

A coach.

A teammate.

I’ve been blessed to have my share of such people like that. One of them is my friend Terri Simon.

Sadly, as I write this column and glance at the editor’s office at the BCR, it is darkened. I will no longer hear the back door open and close, and see Terri walk past to her office.

I first met Terri when she came to the BCR in 1994 as a photo stringer, complete with a southern drawl having spent time in Nashville.

She later became my boss as managing editor, a position she held until her untimely death.

Terri was put into my life for a reason, I know.

She taught me how to put the community into the community newspaper. She always had the best interest of the community and the readers in mind in everything she did, and wanted us to go the extra mile to make it happen.

She taught me to have compassion for the people you work with on a daily basis and those who you encounter along the way.

When she told readers in her column that they were important to her and the BCR, she meant it. I’ve seen some comments posted that while some had never met Terri personally, they felt like they “knew” her the way she wrote and reached out to them in her columns.

PES superintendent Tim Smith, coming guarded naturally to the media in his position, said he knew he could always trust Terri in everything she did, because she was a friend to him and PES.

One trait I especially admired of hers is how she always went out of her way to give young people a chance, just a chance to get started in our business. Kids like Amelia and Simeon Bystry, Katelyn Hildebrand, Jessica Carlson and Danae Ross, and guys like Eric Engel and Zachary Pratt. They were her little mustard seeds, if you will, and she loved to watch them grow. I’ve taken Terri’s lead many times in this route.

Our working relationship had moments with some ups and downs. We were able to put them behind us and became good friends and often confidants. She once told me the story about when she and a friend got busted smoking in the bathroom at PHS and she talked her way out of it (oops, maybe I shouldn’t have shared that one).

One of Terri’s favorite moments at the BCR, if not her favorite, was sports related, when she got to attend the Josten’s rings presentation to the Chicago Bulls and stand next to Michael Jordan in the locker room.

She always joked with me, and I’m finding out now she used the same line with others here, that they won’t put up a statue for us when we leave the BCR. By that, she was telling me to not let the job run my life.

While, I can’t give you that statue, Terri, I do give you this tribute. Thanks for being there and all your contributions to my career. You will be deeply missed my friend.

Terri loved Bureau County and Bureau County loved her.

• Catch of the game: While the Cardinals couldn’t catch the Cubbies, Brian Raef, 43, of Cherry made a catch Monday at Busch Stadium. He snagged a home run ball hit by the Cards’ Luke Voit against the Cubbies. Of course, the Cubbies had the last laugh, beating Raef’s Cardinals, 10-2.

Kevin Hieronymus is the BCR Sports Editor. Contact him at

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