The Ritzville Adams County Journal - Eastern Adams County's Only Independent Voice Since 1887

By Al Stover 

Schafers honored as grand marshals for 2018 Washtucna Fourth of July parade

 

GRAND MARSHALS. Kim Schafer (left) and Judy Schafer were selected as the Grand Marshals of the 2018 Washtucna Fourth of July parade. The Schafers have lived in Washtucna for several years and served in a variety of roles, as well as cultivated numerous relationships. -Journal photo by Al Stover

Grand Marshals Kim and Judy Schafer smiled and waved to fellow Washtucna residents as they rode in a convertible down Main Street during the Washtucna Fourth of July Parade.

After the parade, the Schafers went to Bassett Park where several of their friends complimented them on their debuts as grand marshals. Both Judy and Kim said they were honored to be selected as grand marshals for this year’s parade.

Kim was born and raised in Washtucna. He farmed on his father’s land and worked for the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) until retirement.

Before she met Kim, Judy worked for the Union Pacific Railroad and lived in the Tri-Cities with her two children.

Judy said she was friends with Suzanne Baumann and would travel to Washtucna to visit. During one of the trips, Baumann set Judy on a blind date with a friend, who happened to be Kim.

Judy said she and Kim started dating in October 1988 and were married the following June.

She said she knew Kim was the man she was going to marry after she watched him interact their friend’s son. She noted how she could see the “love in his eyes,” when he interacted with children.

“We make a good team,” Judy said. “We bought each other different anniversary cards that said the same message: ‘I’m glad you chose me.’”

Judy said when she came to Washtucna, she felt like she came home. When her children were about to start school, they asked to take Kim’s last name and be Schafers.

After she took a year off work, Judy began working for Washtucna School. She worked for three years as a teacher’s aid. Judy then transitioned to being the school cook, a job she held for 22 years.

Judy said she loved working at the school and serving food to the students. She noted how she knew the food preferences of each student.

Both Judy and Kim have served in the community in a variety of roles, particularly with children. Kim served in Youth Group and Boy Scouts, and Judy was involved with Girl Scouts for several years as well.

Judy recalled their first wedding anniversary where Kim was camping with the Boy Scouts while she was on a camping trip with the Girl Scouts.

Judy was also an elder of the Washtucna Community Church. She was a member of the Washtucna Public Development Authority for 12 years and most recently a City Council Member. The Schafers also made it a mission to help everyone in the community.

Judy said one of the joys of living in Washtucna is watching the children they knew grow up and start their own families.

Judy said Washtucna is also a wonderful place to raise a family. She explained living in Washtucna provided her children with resources and opportunities to help them prepare for the future. She said their children received a great education at Washtucna Schools and joined different organizations where they undertook leadership roles.

While it was the first time the Schafers were selected grand marshals, it may be the last time they experience the annual Fourth of July activities in Washtucna.

Judy and Kim are temporarily leaving Washtucna, as they are traveling to Calhoun, Georgia, where their daughter lives.

Judy said they have three grandchildren, and it is important for her and Kim to build a relationship with them. She added it is difficult for them to bond with their grandchildren when they live 2,500 miles away and only see them 1-2 times a year.

Judy said she and Kim will stay in Georgia until March. At that time, they will decide whether they want to reside in both Georgia and Washington, or if they will sell their house and permanently move south.

Whether they choose to live in two states, or move permanently, both Kim and Judy have built lives and relationships in the community.

Both Kim and Judy said they will miss the people in Washtucna.

Judy said her friends have become like sisters “of her heart.”

She added will miss being able to call her neighbors to borrow household items, or go to their house to grab the quarter-cup of milk she always needs.

The Schafers will also miss the Town itself. Judy said there is potential for Washtucna to grow and she encourages people who are driving along Highway 261 to stop and spend time in the community.

 

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