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Courthouse staffers throw birthday party for Dutey

Every year, the staff at the Lawrence County Auditor’s office get their boss a cake for his birthday and Thursday Ray T. Dutey figured there would be no exception.

But when he went looking for that cake he found a small surprise party in his honor and a crowd of well wishers who had gathered to mark not only his birthday but another milestone of sorts. Dutey, who is 80, is one of the longest serving elected officials in Lawrence County history.

Dutey began working at the courthouse when he was 18 years old. He was part of the auditor’s office survey crew. His career was preempted by Uncle Sam and he spent the next two years in the Army.

After serving as Coal Grove mayor and village councilman, Dutey ran for county recorder in 1964 and stayed in that office until 1987 when he became the county auditor.

The life of a public servant, he said, is a life he loves.

“I enjoy coming in,” he said. “I enjoy people, I enjoy trying to help people, I mean it.”

Dutey’s birthday is actually today. He plans to spend it with family.