By Kara Linaburg
Ashley Dytzel may have moved out of her home state of West Virginia several times growing up and into adulthood, but she says that “my heart just always brought me back to Shinnston.”
Born in West Virginia, Dytzel moved out of the state when she was 3, and by the time she was an adult, had moved several times in the southern part of the country. “I lived close to West Palm Beach, and I remember looking at a photo of a friend in a hoodie and jeans back home and thinking, ‘I miss that.’ I like the quietness of West Virginia and being outside.”
Now, living in Shinnston with her three kids, Reese, Thomas, and Lincoln, and husband of ten years, Jeff Dytzel, she has nothing but positive things to say about her home and the people there. As a homeschooling mom and pastor’s wife, she finds herself continually busy but enjoys taking walks outside and meeting with friends.
Her husband is the pastor of The Warrior’s Chapel on 68 Main St. in Shinnston, which is one way she is actively involved in the community, including through their Show Love clothing drive. The free clothing giveaway held at the church each year is open to everyone, and previous giveaways had people lined up at the door. “It’s really humbling because I’m in Shinnston a lot… and it’s just like people I’ve never seen,” Dytzel said. “It’s like they come out of the woodwork. It’s a really good turnout.”
Another way she remains involved in her community is through her involvement with the Lion’s Club. “I enjoy that because it’s a different way to serve the community,” she said. “I like their heart for people and kids. They do things with (providing) glasses for kids, and I don’t know, it kinda inspires me a little bit because I used to work for an eye doctor, so I’m really thankful for that.”
Dave Minor, president of the Lion’s Club, had nothing but compliments to give when asked about Dytzel. “She’s just a nice person to be around. Everything she does, she means well. She tries to be as active as possible with the Lions Club… and she helps with whatever we need.”
Dytzel also tried running for city council and even though she wasn’t voted in, said that she didn’t let that stop her from finding other ways to serve. “I just have a heart for my small town,” she says. “Honestly, God had different plans and bigger plans. It was probably a better route.”
Even more recently, she and her husband opened the Road Warriors auto shop, and she is thrilled with how well business has been since the ribbon cutting Feb. 13.
“It’s amazing,” she said. “We’ve already been blessed with equipment and connections. It’s just confirmation that we were supposed to do it… I do love that about Shinnston, that they are open to growth and small businesses… I just love the people there.”