Long-time courthouse employee retires

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 23, 2013

As people came up to Linda Kelly to hug her and express their emotions about her upcoming life change it was obvious she was not used to the attention. Shy and small of stature, everyone who spoke up said she was one of the best people they know and very large of heart.

Later this week Linda will walk out of the Lawrence County Courthouse for the last time as an employee of the clerk of courts office, a career she began nearly 50 years ago.

“It’s going to be sad. I’m going to miss the people here,” Kelly said. “But I’m ready, it’s time. I’m looking forward to traveling and things on my time.”

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Things have changed since she started what would be her one and only career, Kelly said. She looked around the office and said she remembers starting on manual typewriters, moving to electrical typewriters and then really being thrown for a loop when computers first came to the office in 1987.

Dale Burcham, former Lawrence County Clerk of Courts, said his more than three decades of service would have been much more difficult without the vast knowledge of Kelly.

“I just love this woman, love her,” Burcham said. “She is truly dedicated and a wonderful person. I would often get praised for the work she and the other girls in the office did and I made sure to say ‘that was Linda.’”

Once again, Linda shirked from the praise, though thanking Burcham for giving it. She continuously said she did her job because she loved it and the people she worked with, not for any recognition.

Michael Patterson, current clerk of courts, said he does not know what the office will do without Kelly. He called her a cornerstone of the office and said she will be sorely missed.