My life experiences gave me a unique understanding of how much is possible in a free country.
Timothy Adrian Jimenez was born May 30, 1977 in California. His father had struggled with alcohol from a young age trying to escape the abusive home he had grown up in. When his parents met they had joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and soon moved away from family and old lives to start a new life in Moscow, Idaho. His parents worked hard to live up to the standards of the church and in August 1980 they made the long journey to Salt Lake City to enter the LDS Temple with their 3 young children. “I still remember the happiness that existed during the early years of my childhood.”
Tim, next to the bike, with his father and 5 brothers at Married Student Housing on the U of I campus
Tim and his Father
Life soon became very difficult. Tim’s parents, hoping to improve their life, enrolled at the University of Idaho. This made life even more of a struggle as the couple tried to support their family, now with 6 children, while getting an education. Old habits crept back in and Tim’s father’s drinking became a major detriment to the family. Tim knew this was not who his dad really was, his dad was a loving and kind man.
“I was in first grade the first time I had to call-up the happy memories of earlier years. I awoke one night and was led by God downstairs in our little 3-bedroom apartment. My dad was leaning over the kitchen sink throwing up. His snub nose .357 was next to him on the counter. I didn’t know where my mom was. My brothers were all sleeping sound. I ran to my dad and hugged him. I told him I loved him. I felt God working through me. My dad and I sat down at the kitchen table. He told me he had made us all suffer and we deserved much better than what he could provide for us. He was sad that we barely had enough to eat, wore thrift store clothes, and he spent much of our money on alcohol. He was full of the shame of his childhood. He told me he was going to go upstairs and kill my brothers, my mom, and himself so we wouldn’t have to suffer. I knew God had made me the oldest and had given me those happy memories of my family and father so I could truly reach out to him in love. I knew this man before me was not who my father truly was, this was the alcohol speaking. I spoke to him for a while, not the words I as a child would use, but what God would have him hear. After calming him down I helped him to bed, cleaned up, and went to first grade the next day like nothing happened.”
By the time Tim was 12 his mother had had enough she and Tim’s father separated and divorced. Tim learned to work hard from a young age out of necessity to help his single mother provide for him and his 5 younger brothers, doing odd jobs to supplement his mother’s dental assistant job. “My brother Javier and I were in charge of making sure our little brothers had dinner when mom would work late. We had no telephone, our electricity would occasionally get shut off, and Mom would find food in dumpsters behind grocery stores. She would sometimes tell us to get a big drink of water before bed so our stomach would feel full until we could get food at school the next day”.
As a junior in High School Tim began his first steady job as an apprentice to Mike McGinty at his business “Mike’s Painting”. Tim, through hard work and devotion became a journeyman painter and foreman. This skill would get him through many financially tight times, and is a skill he still uses to make many beautiful improvements to his and others home’s today.
Tim and his younger brother Carlos working with Mike McGinty
During some of the most difficult times Tim’s neighbors and community helped his family. “I remember one Thanksgiving when we had 3 separate groups anonymously drop Thanksgiving dinners at our door step. It was more food than we could eat, but we knew other families that needed help. We were able to anonymously drop off 2 of the meals to those families. It felt good to help others”.
Tim was hard at work trying to earn enough to serve a full time mission for the LDS church. Because he was financially helping to support his family the funds would not stretch far enough. “After 9 mouths of continuous full time employment I was only able to save enough for a couple suits. My very kind Bishop and a few members of my ward agreed to cover the cost of my mission”. Tim received a call to serve in the Illinois Chicago mission from March 1997 to March 1999.
Tim's Mission Photograph, March 1997
Time is a funny thing. Tim met his to be wife before his mission. Because Moscow, Idaho is a college town as soon as an LDS young man or woman graduated high school they are encouraged to attend the LDS institute of religion at the University so they could socialize and attend church with other college age youth. While hanging out at the institute one evening Tim met a young lady, Liz Turgoose, who had recently come to the university from a small potato farming town in southern Idaho. The two became instant best friends, sharing faith, and a love for the outdoors. Tim, being a local was able to get Liz off campus to explore the beauty of the area. Liz was a great support to Tim as he prepared for his mission. Even though Tim felt he had met the love of his life he left for his 2 year mission. “Liz was a true friend during my service as a missionary. My family was too busy with everyday life so they didn’t write often, but Liz and I wrote each other every week.”
Logan LDS Temple, November 1999
Gabby, Isaac, and Eli, Tim's first 3 children were born while Tim was studying engineering. Halloween, 2006
Tim’s mother had remarried when Tim was 16. Upon returning home from his mission Tim settled into a 5’ by 6’ bedroom in his Mother and step-father’s double wide trailer. Tim got back to work with Mike’s Painting and applied to the University of Idaho. “By some miracle Liz didn’t marry while I was serving a mission!” The couple was married in November of 1999 in the Logan Utah Temple. They moved into a dump of an apartment and continued working and attending school. The couple later moved to a complex of duplexes, which they managed to augment their income. Liz graduated spring of 2001 with a degree in Family and Consumer Sciences with an emphasis in Early Childhood Development. After graduation they started their family. To support his family while in school Tim continued to work as a painter and took on extra work for the College of Engineering. Liz used her education to provide child care for single mothers attending the University of Idaho. Tim used his interest in the world of science and engineering and graduated from the the University of Idaho in winter of 2006 with his degree in Biological and Agricultural Engineering with an emphasis in Biological Systems.
Most Americans remember where they were on September 11, 2001. For Tim this day had special significance. Tim and his wife were expecting their first child and had eagerly awaited September 11 as the day of their ultrasound. However, as events of the day unfolded and everyone was glued to media sources wanting to know exactly what this attack on America was and would mean, Tim and Liz were in a hospital ultrasound room wondering what kind of world they were bringing their child into. Their first son, Isaac, was born January of 2002.
Isaac, September 11, 2001
Tim has seen a lot of good throughout his life. There has also been a lot of heartbreak. Tim has a Father whose serious alcohol addiction resulted in a breakup of his family. He remained close to both his mother and father, and remained hopeful that his father would clean up his life and recognize his potential. “My father started attending AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) in 2000 and started to serve the Nez Perce Tribe through AmeriCorps. Serving the Tribe helped my father stop drinking and enabled him to see the good in the world. Later my father moved to Utah with a few of my brothers. This move not only helped him continue to better himself, but also influenced where Tim would eventually settle. "My father has now repaired the relationship with my mom and he and my stepdad have become close friends. He has been able to truly forgive his parents for the abuse he had received as a child, in performing the LDS Temple work for them. He is my hero for overcoming abuse and alcoholism and is an example of love.”
Tim watched his mother struggle to raise 6 sons “My mom is my hero for working hard to support my family growing up and for forgiving my father.”
Tim has also seen a brother, who through his actions had to serve a 13 year prison sentence. “As Christians we believe we are all sent here to make decisions that will hopefully bring us back to a loving Heavenly Father. Sometimes mistakes are made and not everyone makes good choices. We believe in those cases there is restitution to be made. My brother served his prison sentence and is now working to piece together a life the best he can.”
Tim and his Mother, 1979
Tim's Father and one of his 12 grandchildren
After graduating from the University of Idaho Tim’s family, now with 3 children, moved to Clinton, Washington on Whidbey Island in the Puget Sound. There they lived with a brother-in-law until Tim could find a job as an engineer. Together they built homes as construction contractors. Tim was again able to use his skills as a painter. “I remember one house that a cousin had built that they wanted me to paint. They chose a really nice blue and the house looked great when I had finished painting it. Came to find out that this color was not within the Home Owner Association’s pallet and that I would need to repaint it. Out of frustration this cousin chose an ugly baby-poo brown color. I can say in all honesty that that house looked like crap!” This experience turned Tim off of ever wanting to live within an HOA community and had a big impact on where he would finally choose to settle. In July 2007 Tim started his first job within his field of study as an engineer with Western Engineers in Everett, Washington. In July 2008, after only a year of employment, Western Engineers fell prey to the housing collapse. Having to make some layoffs, Tim found himself without work, but not without hope. Having siblings and his Father who had made the move to Utah, and wanting to be near family in an area that was more aligned with their values, Tim moved his family to Sandy, Utah. In just 3 short weeks Tim found his dream job with EarthFax Engineering. Tim was able to fulfill a lifelong dream of owning his own home (not in an HOA) as he settled his family in Tooele, Utah. Tim continues to love working as a registered professional environmental engineer, volunteering as a BSA unit commissioner, Stake Young Men’s President, and working with the Tooele Republican Party. Most of all Tim loves spending time with his wife and 6 children in the beautiful Utah outdoors.
Life of Whidbey Island, Washington. Isaac, 2007
Family Photograph, Fall 2016