Teacher inspired with tenacity, generosity
Perseverance defined Lori Shimko.
The North Huntingdon woman, who grew up in Hays, was only 16 when she was stricken with Wilson's disease, a rare genetic disorder that left the high school cheerleader and softball player immobilized for a year.
“When she recovered from the illness, she was flat on her back, and the only thing she could do was blink her eyes,” her uncle, Jack Tener, recalled.
Despite a daunting and painful rehabilitation, Miss Shimko went on to graduate from Bishop Boyle High School in Munhall and earned a degree in special education from Slippery Rock University.
“She was courageous. She was determined. She was an inspiration to the people around her,” Tener said.
Lori B. Shimko died on Sunday, May 18, 2014, with her family by her side. She was 47.
When she graduated from college, Miss Shimko briefly worked with special needs children. Later, she frequently sat with the elderly.
Her family said she was eventually sidelined again by the side effects of her illness and placed on the waiting list for a liver transplant.
John Shimko said his sister's liver transplant in 1997 gave her a new start and made her a committed advocate of organ donation and the Center for Organ Recovery and Education.
“She was a Disney freak. When my kids were younger, she went to Disney with us three or four years in a row,” he said. “She loved music and trivia, and enjoyed watching her nieces play baseball.”
When her liver began to fail again, she was placed on a waiting list at the Cleveland Clinic.
“The last five years, she was pretty sick. We were hoping she would get a transplant, but it just didn't happen,” John Shimko said.
In the end, she insisted that she would remain an organ donor and was adamant that she would give the gift of life to others.
In addition to her brother and uncle, Miss Shimko is survived by her parents, Jack and Donna Shimko of North Huntingdon, with whom she lived; and her sister-in-law, Stephanie Shimko of North Huntingdon.
Family and friends will be received from 1 to 4 and 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday in Savolskis-Wasik-Glenn Funeral Home, 3501 Main St., Munhall, where a blessing service will be conducted at 11 a.m. Thursday.
Debra Erdley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7996 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Moon area pediatrician found dead in country club lake
- Pitt’s Narduzzi names 4 captains
- LaBar: The upgrade of The Wyatt Family in WWE
- Trib Total Media puts 9 Western Pa. newspapers up for sale
- Penn State to face Idaho to open 2019 season
- Starkey: Steelers stopping themselves with suspensions
- Federal judge does not order removal of Ten Commandments monument from Connellsville school
- Heyl: Vick haters’ Facebook bark much worse than their protest’s bite
- Nonprofit hospital titan UPMC’s income eclipses record
- Moon teacher settles lawsuit against online university
- Science Center admission free on Saturday