Those who frequent the Morgan City offices are quite familiar with the name Julie Bloxham. Even elected city officials will tell you that there are very few individuals who know more about the inner workings of Morgan City than Bloxham.
Not many people can say that they have worked for the same company for 34 years, especially with 30 of those years being in the same position. She hired on with the cemeteries in May of 1979 and worked there for three years before becoming a mother. Later Bloxham worked in the Morgan City offices and was sworn in as the Morgan City recorder in 1987.
This April, Bloxham will record her last minutes before she retires to spend much earned, much deserved time with her family.
“If you do not like change, this is not the job for you,” teased Bloxham. “It is constant change – you have elections every two years where the mayor and/or half of the members of the council are up for election. Not that it is a bad thing, just the way things are,” she continued in stride. “Being an elected official is a very important job and with the changes made every two years – it is a challenge to keep everyone up to date on necessary items. It is also necessary to keep informed about Utah Code changes that affect the process the city must use for various items such as land use, annexation and other legal items. Land use issues are always challenging.”
And Bloxham is no stranger to a challenge. She spent a lot of years as an EMT with the Morgan ambulance crew in addition to her other duties. In fact, she recalled that there was a time that both she and the Morgan City treasurer, Mary Kaye Campbell, were serving on the ambulance crew. This meant that they would often have to put a sign up in the office stating that they were closed when there was an emergency and they were both called out on the ambulance.
Bloxham recalled one event that combined her duties. She was attending the city recorder conference in Cedar City one year and had to perform CPR on the state auditor when he went into full cardiac arrest. “I was on the State Board of City Recorders at the time. I was not in the room when it happened and knowing I was an EMT, they called me in. When they called my name, I thought I had won a door prize. What a shock when I found out why I was being called into the room.”
According to Bloxham, the episode revealed a heart defect that was corrected. “They tested his family and found out his children had it too, which was good because it was something that could be fixed,” said Bloxham. After making a full recovery, he continued working for several years as the state auditor until his eventual retirement.
Having lived in Morgan City her entire life, and having served her hometown for so many years, Bloxham has seen a lot of changes and a lot of things that have made her love this community even more. She served under at least 33 council members and 10 mayors including: Dale Durrant; George Francis; Abbott Mikesell; John Johnson; Dave Rich; Lee Dickson; Marie Heiner; Dean Pace; Jim Egbert; and most recently, Ray Little.
When she first started working for the city Dale Durrant was the mayor. The council consisted of George Francis, Jay Ellis Hopkin, Ted Carter, John Johnson and Don Taylor. Bloxham said she could probably still tell you each of the 33 council members’ names and which mayor they served under. “It seems like it was just yesterday,” she said, noting how fast time flies.
She also witnessed the building of the “new” city office building. “We had been operating out of one room in the county building and would hold our council meetings in the Veterans’ room. It was wonderful when we got to move into the new building,” recalled Bloxham.
“I remember in the 1980s when there was flooding throughout the county. I was so amazed at how the community came together and everyone pitched in to help with what was needed. I have seen that happen time and time again – when someone in our community has problems – the help that is given is unbelievable. We are so blessed to live with such people, from all walks of life, who will do anything they can to ease someone else’s burdens,” reminisced Bloxham. “That, along with the beauty of our land, is one reason I never want to leave.”
Bloxham has really enjoyed serving the citizens of Morgan City in every capacity she has served in. “I love Morgan City and like to be able to contribute to make it a better place. There have been a lot of changes over the years, and we have been able to offer new services. I love being a part of the process and seeing improvements made throughout our community and knowing what is happening in the various departments such as water, sewer, electric and economic development,” she admitted. “Unless you are in a position with the city – you never know and appreciate how much goes into providing the services that are offered.”
She appreciated working with such “great people” all these years. “I have been very fortunate to be alongside co-workers who take a lot of pride in their work. They have not only been a great support to me in my personal life, they really are excellent in the jobs they do and work together as a team – they are the best of the best. They become your ‘family,’” Bloxham concluded with a solemn tone, remarking that the worst part of leaving will be not being able to see her ‘work family’ all the time, and it is apparent they feel the same about her.
Paul Simmons, lead lineman for Morgan City Power said, “During work meetings or council meetings when the council would stray from the subject, Julie would reel them in and head them back in the right direction. I always knew that when I had an issue with some aspect of city business, that Julie would always have the time to help me come to a solution. I will miss Julie an awful lot. She has been a very dear friend and confidante. Go Julie, you are No. 1.”
At every council meeting since Bloxham officially announced her retirement, remarks have been made about how difficult it will be without her cheery presence and her seemingly unlimited knowledge of the precedence that has been set in other meetings. It is hard to replace someone who has sat through literally several thousand hours of Morgan City Council meetings.
Morgan City Treasurer Laurie Moore said, “I will miss Julie. She is a great friend with a kind heart! I will miss her quick wit and sense of humor, her vast knowledge of Morgan City history and the inter-workings of the office. She is to be commended for all of her service and love of community and fellow employees.” Moore also noted that Bloxham mentored and motivated her to further her education in her position. “There is so much more to thank her for. Enjoy your retirement, Julie!”
Deputy Treasurer Teresa Shope mirrored Moore’s sentiment saying, “There is so such to Julie that it is hard to put down into words. I have the utmost respect for Julie as a coworker, but mostly as a genuine friend. She truly cares for this community and considers all ‘family.’ Most people say ‘they care.’ Julie lives it with everything she does. She will surely be missed!”
While she will desperately miss her work family, Bloxham looks forward to spending more time with her actual family. She has been married to her husband Danny for 10 years. Between them they have two sons, two daughters and three “awesome” grandchildren. One son is in the Navy and she hopes to be able to travel to see him more often in the areas he is stationed. She is also excited to visit a grandson she has only seen once who lives with his parents in California.
“I am going to spend a lot of time spoiling my grandchildren. They are the best part of life right now. I also hope I can spend a lot of quality time with my mother and sisters and other family members. These people often take second spot when you work,” mentioned Bloxham. “I hope to do more of the things I enjoy in life – such as reading, traveling, camping and visiting with friends.”
Bloxham also noted that she, along with Warren Welton, is hoping to open a State Liquor Store on Commercial Street later in the year. “We have been working on this since the liquor store in the Morgan Drug closed a few years ago,” said a motivated Bloxham.
An open house reception will be held in Bloxham’s honor on Friday, April 7, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at Grounds for Coffee on Commercial Street. Everyone is welcome to come and express appreciation for her dedication and service.