Well, she up and did it. She retired.
Julie Ude talked about it for a long time. She talked about drinking coffee in her sun room and watching the birds and staying in her pj’s (knit, not flannel). She talked about it so much, in fact, that we stopped believing her.
Julie has retired after 33 years plus one month, with the majority of that time spent as our advertising manager. To say she will be missed is akin to that thing people talk about how when somebody loses a limb, they still feel a tingling – like it’s still there. She’s still here. Here’s what she taught us:
Integrity: The manner in which Julie treated her customers has left the bar set high for all. She conducted herself with grace. And when she wasn’t feeling very graceful, because humans sometimes are just not nice, she had a unique ability to let the little stuff go.
Confidence: People who carry that special sense of unassuming self, who are calmly sure of who they are and can just carry on through any storm are rare. An example has been set.
Intelligence: How somebody with dual bachelor degrees in the sciences wound up in marketing and design is beyond us. We have learned that a strong, flexible mind is one’s best asset.
Leadership: Julie led by letting others make their own mistakes. She stepped in when she had to. That’s how she earned her authority – leading by example.
Kindness: Having a truly decent human being around daily is a benefit to any workplace. Julie cared deeply about her co-workers. She’s been to our children’s events and graduations. She’s been to our family funerals. In short – she’s been everywhere she can be to show love when it was needed most.
The staff of the Driftless Journal and the Decorah Public Opinion wish Julie, and her husband Gene, many wonderful travels to visit their adult children, Lauren and Erick. We wish her more time spent with her dad, Lester, and the rest of her family. Here, we’re going to have to find a new way to identify every plant, bird and bug. But we will. And Julie – we thank you for leaving the sign that says “Ahhh….I see the screw up fairy visited us again.” We’ll do our best. But we’re probably going to need it.