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In memory of Anthony James Shimko

Created by Family Of Anthony James Shimko

Anthony James Shimko

Anthony, who we called TJ, was a great person who enjoyed hunting and hanging out with his friends. He liked Eminem and he loved to laugh and joke. TJ was a happy-go-lucky guy -- most of the time. Other times, he was suicidal (he thought) and extremely depressed. TJ started using weed, probably around the age of 19. He then began using "a line" of coke "here and there." After this, he then moved to heroin. At first he snorted it. Then he began to shoot it. The heroin went to snorting and injecting coke, then to crack, then to Xanax, then to other types of pills, such as Vicoden, Loratabs, Percocet -- anything he could get his hands on.

He was never happy with a little bit -- he always had to take it to an extreme. He used to steal a lot from stores (not people) to support his habit, which was usually everyday. We had a long talk about three weeks before he died. I told him, "TJ, you're never around unless your not getting high and I can't sit back and watch you kill yourself anymore." After that, we spent a couple days together. We went to the fireworks together, watched some movies and went to Linn Run State Park. On August 5, 2004 at 2:43 am, my cousin Brandi, TJ's girlfriend, called me. She said, "TJ overdosed, he's dead."

At that time, my life had changed forever. After his autopsy, we found that he had cocaine, heroin and Xanax in his system. He died from mixing uppers (coke), and downers (Xanax, heroin) together.

Since he listened to Eminem a lot, when my daughter and I hear that music, we cry. Anytime something exciting happens in my life, I think of TJ, bcause if he were alive, I would be calling him. He is the only man that's ever been there for my daughters -- he was like a father to them. He spent alot of time with my daughter Kimi. She loved him unconditionally. We all did.

He is in heaven and is resting in peace. All the pain and sickness is over. I hope someone else can benefit from this story.  He didn't realize how much he was loved and cared about. TJ is so sadly missed by his family, his friends and especially his little girl, Bailey Paige.

We love you TJ.

Partners for Hope raise critical funds on behalf Partnership to End Addiction – the nation’s leading organization dedicated to addiction prevention, treatment and recovery. Every dollar raised on behalf of the Partnership* will help ensure free, personalized family support resources, including our national helpline, peer-to-peer parent coaching, customized online tools and community education programs, can reach those who need them most. Please consider donating to this fundraiser and sharing this page.

*Donations made to Partnership to End Addiction are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. All contributions are fully tax-deductible, as no goods or services are provided in consideration in whole, or in part, of any contribution to this nonprofit organization.  EIN: 52-1736502

Guest Book


1. Megan Fritz
I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing TJ's story with us.
2. Julie
Thank you for sharing your story. I'm so sorry for your loss. My condolences to your and your family.
3. Russell S.
The message in your story of loss has spoken volumes to me. I myself have struggled with prescription drug abuse and although I haven't abused "hard" drugs, I feel that my use of prescription pain medication is just as hurtful to myself and those who love me. I have recently had a little baby girl with my wife of 9 years and I am looking for support to quit my bad habit. I started abusing percocet after an injury several years ago, and seeing that your friend left behind a little girl pained me greatly. I am very sorry that you had to loose a beloved friend, but I thought it might help to know that your kind words and message of love and friendship have helped me to make the choice to quit before I hurt my family and daughter in the same way. God bless you, and thank you for sharing your story.
4. Elaine David's Mom
I am so sorry for the loss of your loved one. A thousand new people could come into our lives and they could never replace the one we have lost. Anthony was near the same age as my son when he died and had the same drugs of choice. God bless you and your family. Philippians 4:19
5. Mona Casey
Sorry for your loss. I'd like to believe that TJ is looking over all of you. God bless you all!