Tim, a fifth-generation South Dakotan, grew up in the family of a Milwaukee Road agent whose work took him across eastern and western South Dakota to various towns across the state. By the time Tim started school the family lived in Kimball. During his school years, Tim played every sport, captained his teams, and was his school’s Boys State representative.
He took his first job at 12, sacking potatoes at Folan’s IGA in Kimball. He graduated from Kimball High School in 1974.
With help from his parents and by working his way through college, often with two jobs, Tim attended South Dakota State University. After a legislative internship semester in Pierre, he completed his degree studies in history and English at the University of South Dakota.
After college, while waiting to begin law school, Tim worked in a factory for nine months, where he developed a deep respect for hard work and those who perform it, and the dignity of all work.
Tim began law school in the fall of 1979. He served on the South Dakota Law Review Board, was a Claude W. Schutter Scholarship Award recipient, and three of his law review articles were published during his law school career. Tim worked during law school as a house painter, as an intern, and as a teaching assistant to law professors his last two years, and graduated from law school in 1982.