In Memory of Correctional Officer Robert Vidimos
Iowa residents were stunned to hear that the Iowa Department of Corrections had lost a correctional officer to the coronavirus pandemic. Unfortunately, the department had already had several losses, and the numbers are increasing. COVID19 has become the number one killer of law enforcement officers in the US.
On Monday, November 16, 2020, Correctional Officer Robert Vidimos, age 58, died due to complications of the virus. He picked up the virus during his duties as a sworn law enforcement officer with the Iowa Department of Corrections.
Vidimos had been a member of the department for the past year. He worked as a corrections officer at the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women in Mitchellville. He had recently found his calling as his work with a jail ministry group led him on the path to his full-time job. He enjoyed working with the women inmates and helping them see a brighter future for themselves.
Iowa Department of Corrections, Iowa
Headquartered in Des Moines, the Iowa Department of Corrections (IDC) is the state agency that manages all correctional facilities in Iowa. The state of Iowa does not contract private prisons. IDC maintains nine facilities throughout the state for adult prisoners.
Recently, Iowa became the recipient of a grant to find ways to reduce the recidivism of adult offenders. It was an award given by the US Department of Justice to find better ways to help offenders reintegrate successfully back into society.
Correctional Officer Robert Vidimos leaves behind his wife, son, daughter, and grandson. The Vidimos family will need the support of friends, neighbors, and residents to help see them through these challenging times. The Iowa Department of Corrections Honor Guard performed honor ceremonies at the funeral for Officer Vidimos. This helps demonstrate the gratitude felt for his sacrifice.
Sheryl Dahm, a friend of Vidimos, shared her sympathies with the family. “RJ was a breath of fresh air! His passion for his career was evident. He was so kind. He will be missed by many.”
Coworker Jerry J. Tiehn shared a goodbye to his friend. “Mr. Vidimos and I trained together when he started. His going ahead came as a shock to me—kind-hearted, easygoing gentleman. The “WHYs” of life can be so difficult to comprehend at times. All we can say is thank you, Lord. As the songwriter says, “By and by when the morning comes, all the saints of God are gathered home. We will tell the story of how we’ve overcome, And we’ll understand it better by and by.” See you later, Brother.”
Tom and Terry Budnik, church members with the Vidimos, offered their support for the asking. “Terri and I are two fortunate people to have had R J as part of our lives. He was, indeed, a “gentle giant,” full of life and a great love for others. We will never forget those hugs as he always waited after Mass to make sure he could bring that smile and share a joke or story. Lois, savor your life together. Your love goes on forever, and you can now pray to him daily, and you will continue to feel his presence in your and your family’s lives. Our support is yours for the asking. God bless you.”