On Saturday evening, Doris Pendleton ended 36 years of service to the county on a high note surrounded by family and friends.


The staff of the property appraiser’s office threw a retirement bash to be proud of. The Coombs Armory was beautifully decorated with an autumn theme appropriate both to the season and the occasion.

One by one, Pendleton’s coworkers came to the microphone to express their love and admiration for their departing supervisor. Rhonda Skipper, property appraiser elect, recalled shopping sprees, Christmas parties and a riverboat trip.

“The memories we created are anything but blue,” she said.

Paul Wasmund told Pendleton “I wouldn’t have missed it for anything in the world.” Joseph Ferrell called Pendleton the sweetest, most caring, kindest and most generous person he knew.

There were jokes too.

“Remember age is just a number, but in your case it’s a very large number,” Terry Tipton said.

Pendleton’s fellow constitutional officers were on hand to honor her. Undersheriff Joel Norred presented her with a plaque from the sheriff’s office.

 “When I started working we were the only two people in the courthouse early in the morning and sat, gossiped and drank coffee until 8:30 a.m.” recalled Supervisor of Elections Ida Elliot. “We must be best friends, for me to miss a Gators’ game to be here.”

Clerk of Courts Marcia Johnson pointed out that when she and Pendleton began work at the courthouse there were no computers.

Pendleton herself recalled the days when, at 19, she came to work for Property Appraiser John James.

Reminiscences, sometimes tearful, were followed by fun when two groups of courthouse workers staged skits for the assembly.

A group of hillbilly minstrels – Skipper, Ferrell, property appraise staffers Rita Millender and Brenda Benjamin and County Planner Alan Pierce – toted clay jugs as they sang a song with the chorus “Gloom, despair and agony to me.” The mountaineers were followed by ladies - Rita Preston, Casey Nash, ???? and Ash – each in flowery aprons and sunbonnets who gave their own musical tribute.

A wonderful dinner, featuring mullet and chicken prepared by AJ’s was followed by dancing to records spun by deejay Van Johnson.

Pendleton joined a group of talented dancers in the “Electric Slide.”

When asked about her plans for the future Pendleton said she plans to focus more on family now. “We have a houseboat up the river and plan to spend more time there,” she said, “And Tommy’s an avid hunter, so we’ll be visiting a camp up in Georgia too.”

As a going-away gift, the staff of the property appraiser’s office presented the boss with a magnificent grandfather clock.

To see a gallery of the retirement party visit www.ApalachTimes.com. - By Lois Swoboda