Retirement expected to be anything but quiet for Wallis

Friday, July 3, 2015
Tammy Helm/Tribune photo Bourbon County Appraiser Judy Wallis is pictured at her desk in the office where she has spent the past 29 years. Her first day of retirement was Wednesday.

At the end of the day Tuesday, Bourbon County Appraiser Judy Wallis walked out of her office and into the life of retirement.

But that doesn't mean she's going to be spending her time kicked back in a rocking chair with a glass of iced tea on a shaded porch this summer.

"I'm going to be staying busy," Wallis said Monday.

For one thing, she wants to devote more time to the antique furniture business she and her husband, William, have had for several years. She said she had antique booths for several years, but it was William who expanded the business to include furniture restoration when he was not deployed through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Their career schedules also meant they had no time for vacations. Judy said about the time appraiser deadlines had passed, the season for William to be deployed to natural disaster emergencies was beginning. Even when they married in August 2009, they only had a few days available for a trip.

Will is now the Bourbon County Emergency Manager, which means since Judy is retiring, they should be able to schedule some vacation time, she said.

Besides the county appraiser, Judy may also may be known by many as a master gardener. As a member of the Bourbon County Garden Club, she spends a lot of time working in community flowerbeds, as well as assisting other gardeners.

"I hope to have more time for my own gardens," Judy said.

Those include flowerbeds and" a very big"vegetable garden, she said.

She also is a member of Thursday Nite Live FCE and Kiwanis Pioneer clubs and said she hopes to be able to spend more time volunteering with those groups.

"But the biggest thing is being able to have more time with my grandchildren this summer," Judy said.

She and Will have five children between them, with nine grandchildren ranging in ages from 2 to 17 -- most living in the Bourbon County area. Will's children and mother live in the St. Louis area and Judy said they hope to have more time to visit them now.

Becoming an appraiser

Judy is used to being busy. For several years, Judy lived on a dairy farm, where the schedule rotated around milking. When the Farm Crisis of the 1980s hit, like many others, she realized she needed to find a job off the farm to help make ends meet.

While still milking, in 1984, she took a part-time job in the appraiser's office working from January through June. That's when the office still handled personal property taxes, which at the time, included cattle and farm equipment. She returned to the appraiser's office in 1985 as a part-time employee when one of the employees had to take off to go into the hospital. After the employee got out of the hospital, Judy decided to not return and went full time in 1986. She was appointed county appraiser in July 1989.