Quite a Journey – 100 Years with Superior

By Lynne Henson – President of Superior Abrasives

It is the early 1970s. The Watergate scandal keeps the U.S. on edge, the Apollo 17 program brings the last humans to walk on the moon back to earth, the Expo is held in Spokane, Washington and Muhammed Ali beats George Foreman in the legendary boxing match in Kinshasa, Zaire, that has gone down in history as the „Rumble in the Jungle“.

During this time, Delma Overman (1971) and Judy Burke (1974) decide to hire on at a small company called Superior Rotary Tools. Delma starts as a part-time employee since she is still in high school. After finishing school, she finally joins the company as a full-time employee. Her sister Judy, the youngest of eleven siblings, will follow her to Superior in May 1974.

Judy had already worked there during summers in high school. In between, she worked for a drug store for a short time, but then followed the path of many of her family members to Superior.

Today, Delma and Judy are still employed by the company, which is now called Superior Abrasives and has 88 employees. And now they are putting their plan to retire into action. March 3rd is the date for Delma after 51 years and May 26th for Judy after 49 years. The two say they feel very fortunate to have been part of this company. They have seen so many people come and go, made many friends and learned something from everyone, they say.

The acquisition by PFERD in 2012 did not change a lot, they say. But at first, they were surprised and partly shocked about the takeover as they did not expect it coming. Moving into the unique new building was the biggest change within the new governance structure, they recount, but this change was definitely a benefit they proudly say looking at the big red “S”.

Delma was a teacher, a counselor, a disciplinarian and a friend to most of us. Always patient, but firm. Someone who treated Superior like their own.

Judy has been a rock star working as a liaison between customer service, manufacturing and shipping. Her years of experience and tribal knowledge will be hard to replace.

I personally think the world of you and will miss you dearly. It has been me a real honor to work beside Delma and Judy for the past 25 years. I feel blessed for the time with them and am very excited for them.

Delma and her hubby Rick want to do some traveling and fun together. Judy does not have much planned yet but she is looking forward to just relax, enjoy a nicely brewed cup of coffee and eventually work in her yard. This is much deserved after working at superior for 100 years! Delma and Judy, we love you and you will always be a part of our family!