Long-time Messenger staff writer will be missed

In June, Sandi Latimer earned an honorable mention from the National Federation of Press Women for a story she wrote about a young man earning his Eagle Scout Award. The story was featured in the Southwest edition.

Sandi Latimer, a long-time staff writer for the Columbus Messenger Newspapers, died on Aug. 19 from several medical complications. She was 75 years old.

Sandi began working for the Messenger in the winter of 2001. Throughout her time with us, she covered numerous communities including the Hilltop, the Westland Area Commission, Jackson Township, Pleasant Township and West Jefferson. She also covered the Jonathan Alder and Madison Plains school boards. Her dedication was unrivaled.

Last winter, Sandi covered the relocation and restoration of the train depot on Front Street in Grove City to Century Village.

“It took the workers hours to get the old train depot relocated within Grove City,” said Southwest and Westside Messenger Editor Andrea Cordle. “It was a cold and rainy day. Sandi stayed there for hours, outside, to cover the event.”

Sandi lived in the Lincoln Village area. She loved her community and loved covering it for the Westside edition.

“Every year, I could count on Sandi to put together the Westland Area Business Association parade preview and parade marshal article,” said Cordle. “Sandi always looked forward to covering that event. It was just out her front door.”

Working with someone for many years, you get to know them on a personal level.

“What I will miss most about Sandi was her thoughtfulness,” said Cordle. “I love dachshunds and have two of them. Sandi would buy me these little wiener dog trinkets and she would also send me Facebook photos and video clips featuring dachshunds. She knew how to brighten my day, if just for a moment.”

Madison Messenger Editor Kristy Zurbrick said Sandi was up for any assignment you threw at her.

“It didn’t matter if it was covering a school board or village council meeting or writing about the retirement of the police department’s canine officer,” said Zurbrick. “You could tell she just loved being a reporter.

“I’ve always admired Sandi’s gusto for life. She was always out doing something – going to high school football and basketball games, listening to live music, volunteering. She was always seeking and finding new knowledge, new friendships, and new experiences.”

“Sandi was interested in everything and everyone, which made her a good journalist and writer,” said Columbus Messenger Managing Editor Rick Palsgrove. “She was dedicated to her craft, cherished history, and cared about people.”

In addition to working as a freelance writer for the Columbus Messenger Newspapers, Sandi was a staff writer for United Press International from 1968 – 1990 and she worked as a sports clerk for the Columbus Dispatch from 1999 – 2009. She graduated from Kent State University in 1965 with a degree in broadcast journalism.

Sandi grew up in Bucyrus, Ohio. She married Red Latimer in 1974. She published several books, won numerous journalism awards and even had a blog about all her walking adventures.

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