Nearly 40 years ago Adams was the first woman to carry the mail in Baxter Springs

BAXTER SPRINGS - It was a bittersweet day for a longtime friend to our local communities, United States Postal Service employee Judy Adams. Floyd Steele, Jr. was preparing to leave his earthy life as Judy served her last day of service to the USPS last Friday, Dec. 30.

Thirty-Nine years ago last Aug. 25, then Baxter Springs Postmaster Steele hired Judy and swore her in as a civil service employee. She started as a now discontinued combination PTF, part time float, clerk/carrier. Judy was guaranteed two hours a week, but was the first female employee to carry the mail in Baxter Springs.

Judy worked in the Baxter Springs office for 15 years, then continued in Riverton and Galena as postmaster. She finished her outstanding career as postmaster in Columbus. She has supervised at one time or another every post office in Cherokee County, plus Cherokee and McCune in Crawford County.

Asked if she has any plans to travel, she said a strong “heaven no”.

“I plan to do more volunteer work,” Judy said.

That may not actually be possible, as she serves on many local community boards, is active in the Riverton schools and active at Riverton Friends Church.

“I plan to volunteer more at the Ronald McDonald House, work with Riverton softball, and do more yard work,” she said.

Judy’s close friend, Royce Donaldson, retired two weeks ago from the Community Bank in Riverton, and phones Judy that she is already tired of the house.

"Royce and I have many plans on serving our community," Judy said.

Judy was a natural to join the postal service. I’ve noticed personally, as one of her employees, her ability to recite every address and post office box in Baxter Springs, Riverton and Galena. As a graduate of Sarcoxie (Missouri) High School, her father was a long time USPS employee in that community, and retired with 32 years of service. Her mother retired with 20 years, and her sister Connie had 37 years of postal service. That’s 128 years with the post office in the two generations.

Judy’s husband Jerry Adams retired on Dec. 15, as a supervisor at the Pittsburg post office with 38 years with USPS. Jerry loves working with wood furniture and plans to expand his interest.

Judy has two sons, Mike and Chris Moss. Together Jerry and Judy have eight grandchildren.