Barbara Andrews-Mee: Office Manager Extraordinaire
April 30, 2021
Barbara Andrews-Mee (1938-2017) was born in Madison, South Dakota and moved to Alaska with her family in April 1960. She found work with the Alaska Department of Aviation, and in 1962 began working for the law office of Ted Stevens. When Stevens was appointed to the US Senate in 1968, Barbara went with him and continued to work for the Senator until she retired in 1997.
As the Office Manager of the Anchorage Senate Office, Barbara handled everything from picking the Senator up at the airport to being a representative for his office on official visits. When she retired, Senator Stevens gave a speech on the Senate floor in Washington, D.C. praising Barbara’s many talents and her work above and beyond the call of duty. In this speech, Senator Stevens said: “Mr. President, it’s impossible to sum up 36 years of association in one small tribute…the words ‘thank you’ are too small to convey the depth and breadth and length of the gratitude I have for all of the wonderful years Barb Andrews-Mee has shared with me, with my family, and with Alaskans.”
In 2010, Barbara published a memoir about her career and friendship with Senator Stevens titled, “Ted Stevens and Mee.” Barbara was one of the first women in Rotary and a member of the Athena Society of Anchorage.
When Barbara passed in 2017, Senator Lisa Murkowski gave a speech acknowledging Barbara’s contributions to Alaska, reminiscing that she had a great sense of humor and a huge, welcoming personality. Regarding her impact on Alaskan politics, Senator Murkowski said, “She was regarded as a mentor and grandmother-like figure to generations of young staffers who went to work for Senator Stevens.”
Photo credit: Anchorage Museum, Steve McCutcheon Collection, B1990.014.5.People.14.6