Press Argus-Courier’s much respected advertising director has retired after 38 years in advertising sales for local newspapers.

Judy Weese has been advertising director for the Press Argus-Courier for 16 years, working in the advertising department at the Courier and Southwest Times Record a total of 38 years.

Weese has enjoyed her years working for the two papers, making friends of colleagues and clients over the years, she said.

"I like working at a community newspaper because you get to know your clients; I have clients that are good friends," Weese said. "Because you work with so many types of businesses, you learn a lot."

Many of Weese’s customers have sent her farewell messages in the last few weeks. The messages commend her work, thank her for her efforts and wish her well in the future.

Mary Blount with Citizens Bank & Trust Co. is one of the clients who will miss Weese’s work and camaraderie, she said.

"When I was new to handling the marketing accounts at the bank, Judy was so patient and helpful to me," Blount said. "She is absolutely wonderful, and we are going to miss her tremendously."

Because of hard work and dedication to her clients, Weese earned the respect of co-workers such as Debbie Foliart, a former advertising salesperson for the Courier.

"Her professionalism in her career and with her clients over the years have given her relationships that have improved the newspaper product, not to mention the businesses she has helped to grow through her knowledge of advertising and marketing," Foliart said.

Weese began to gain her experience in advertising after she went to work at the Southwest Times Record in 1976, working there for 10 years before she took some time off to be a stay at home mother.

Weese, and her husband, David, moved to Alma during that time - both are originally from Crawford County. When Weese decided to go back to work in 1988, she applied at the Courier.

"I was hired by Jim Peoples as a salesperson," Weese said. "That was back in the day before emails, and I remember when we thought we were really ‘big town’ when we got fax machines."

Weese became advertising director in 2000 after Peoples retired.

Kenneth Fry, Press Argus-Courier editor, first worked with Weese at the Times Record at the beginning of their careers in newspapers, he said. They were reunited when he joined the Courier staff in 1992.

"Throughout the years, it was been a pleasure to work with Judy because of her dedication to the newspaper and her overall desire to make her clients happy," Fry said. "Judy always has wanted to do what was best for her clients."

Weese has developed life-long friendships with her colleagues, including Foliart.

"When I came to the Press Argus in 1988, Judy and I found that we had much in common right away," Foliart said. "She was and has always been a true friend that has become like a sister to me."

Weese is thankful to her clients for their trust over the years and is going to miss working each day at the Courier, she said.

"I am going to miss working with my customers, and I’m going to miss working with my fellow employees," Weese said. "Working in a small office, you become like family."

Family is the reason for Weese’s retirement. Weese decided to retire April 1 - no joke - to help her daughter and son-in-law with their soon-to-be born twin sons, she said.

Weese also looks forward to spending some time catching up on her sewing, reading and home remodeling projects she said.

"The Press Argus-Courier wishes Judy the best in her retirement," Fry said. "But, rest assured, she will be missed by those who depended on her from day to day."