Contact: Wendel Sloan at 505.562.2253
Reporter: Colleen Wright
PORTALES – Whenever someone walks into Eastern New Mexico University's Campus Post Office, they are greeted by the friendly smile of window clerk Janice Lee.
A lifetime native of Roosevelt County, Janice has been married for 35 years to her husband, Eddie, also from Roosevelt County.
Family is very important to Janice; she is very close with her sister, mother and father, all of whom live in Roosevelt County. She has two sons: Shannon, a Portales fireman, and Shane, a local farmer. She also has four grandchildren: Garrett, Clay, Lindsay and Daelyn.
"My children and grandchildren are the light of my life," Janice says. "My two sons have turned out so well, it makes me proud of myself for raising two such respectable men."
When raising her two sons, Janice was very involved in 4-H. She had an arena outside of her house for her and the boys to practice roping and riding. "I am a firm believer in keeping kids busy with activities to keep them away from drugs and alcohol," Janice says. "My children had to work for everything they had; I always made sure to know where they were and what they were doing."
Janice's life has revolved around farming from the first day she came into this world. Growing up she took part in many of the chores around the farm. After getting married she worked side by side in the fields with her husband. They have 600 operating acres where they raise cattle and grow wheat. The farm they live on now used to be the homestead of Eddie's grandfather.
Now that her children are all grown up, Janice--whose official title is Post Office Clerk--has plenty of hobbies. She loves to bake for public bake sales, rabbit hunt and fish, and play competitive games. She also loves crafts, and teaches an Extended Learning course in toll painting.
Religion has been a very important part of Janice's life. When she was a freshman in high school she went through a very hard time. Her dad got in a car wreck, then her grandfather shot himself, and then her uncle had a tree fall on him which broke his legs. She had to take over most of the farm and household chores. "It was a very hard time for all of my family," Janice says. "Without God behind me, I am not sure I could have made it."
Janice has been working for the ENMU Post Office for six years, and really enjoys it. "It is the students, faculty and staff that really make my job rewarding," Janice says. "I love chatting with them and finding out about their lives."
The next time you stop at Janice's window to send off that over-due bill, take a few moments to chat with her about her life also. Although Janice's job as a clerk is important to Eastern New Mexico University, there is much more to this postal-uniformed lady. Behind the smiling face at the pane-less window, there has been joy and pain.
Janice Lee, ENMU Post Office Clerk, always has a smile for everyone. But, there are a lot of life experiences behind that smile. (photo by Colleen Wright)