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Outdoor GreatRoom founder Dan Shimek dies

Burial service set for Friday

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Daniel C. Shimek, 65, founder and CEO of the Outdoor GreatRoom Company, died Friday, Oct. 11 at his home in Apple Valley following a lengthy illness.
In 1975, Shimek also created the Heat & Glo fireplace company with his brother Ron, who preceded him in death. Dan stayed on as president after the company merged in 1996 with Heatilator to form Hearth and Home Technologies. After he retired in 2002, Dan went on to found the Outdoor GreatRoom Company, which designs and manufactures upscale fire pits, furniture and kitchens for outdoor living spaces.

A short obituary by the Star Tribune remembered Dan as "a generous, devoted and loving man who was all about family and the fire."

Dan ShimekShimek
In a recent blog on Outdoor GreatRoom's website, Dan noted this year has been one of growth and success following 10 years of hard work and countless challenges. He wrote that the Great Recession hit the company hard, but "we managed to put in place some key programs for sourcing, manufacturing in the U.S., and strategic product direction, which all contributed to our growth today. We had some key people who were willing to take a hard look at things and then put in the effort to make them happen. ...
"These changes have resulted in back to back years with 25%+ growth and a profitable bottom line. Two major decisions we have made as a company are to become the market leader in Crystal Fire gas fire pit burners and fire tables. These both have been a major area of focus. Also, one very important strategic decision for us has been getting into electric fireplaces. This has given us a winter product to sell and so far looks very promising."Shimek went on to thank employees, suppliers and customers. "They have shown a nice degree of patience and a high level of interest," he wrote. "We are enthusiastic about the future and are confident we can help our customers enjoy a nice level of growth in our product categories."

Mass of Christian Burial is set for 10:30 a.m. Friday, Oct. 18 at St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Eagan, Minn. Visitation will be from 3-8 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 17 at White Funeral Home and also one hour prior to Mass at the church. Interment will be at Fort Snelling National Cemetery, Minneapolis.

In addition to his brother, Dan Shimek was preceded in death by his parents George and Laura Shimek. Surviving are his wife Kay, children Jessica Shimek, Danielle (Ricky) Dhaliwal, Kent Shimek and Richelle Shimek; siblings Sue (Dick) DeFore, Rosemary Moore, Carol (Al) Lenhart, Steve (Lee Ann) Shimek and Gerald (Ann) Shimek. Also by many other loving relatives and friends.

In lieu of flowers, the family prefers memorials. For more information, visit

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