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Berry retires as Chief Clerk

The small courtroom of the Crenshaw County courthouse was filled to overflowing on Friday, Dec. 4, as family, friends, and co-workers gathered to honor Chief Probate Clerk Sandra Berry upon her retirement.

Berry, who will officially retire Dec. 18, began working in the Probate Office in 1975. On Aug. 1, 1986, she became the Chief Clerk and has served in that capacity since that time.

Probate Judge Jim Perdue praised Berry for all of her years of hard work and dedication not only to her position, but also to the people of Crenshaw County.

“Sandra has always made sure that everything was done as perfectly as possible,” Perdue said. “We can’t thank her enough for her years of dedicated service to this office and to this county.”

Sen. Wendell Mitchell presented Berry with a certified resolution that listed her many contributions to her community over the years.

“I can’t tell you how helpful she has been to me over the years,” Mitchell said.

Berry, who was also the first woman mayor in Crenshaw County, has served on several boards and community groups, including the Glenwood Festival at the Well Board. She served as mayor of the town of Glenwood from 1992-2002.

“I’ve known her almost my whole life, and I just can’t imagine her retiring,” Commission Chairman Ronnie Hudson said.

Berry’s son, Buster Berry, became emotional when speaking about the loyalty and commitment of his mother to the tasks she sets before her.

“She enjoys feeling needed, and she enjoys helping others,” he said. “A lot of my life was spent growing up in the halls of this courthouse after school waiting until she finished her work…she would not leave until the last person was taken care of.”

Berry said that she would miss her “courthouse family”, and especially the many little things that were so much a part of her everyday life in the Probate Office as well as inside the courthouse.

“I never knew that back when I was hired part-time, it would turn into full-time and then into a lifetime,” Berry said, smiling.

After the presentations, the large crowd enjoyed beautifully decorated tables filled with lovely hors d’oeuvres and punch. Visitors signed a guest book, and Berry received several cards and many beautiful vases of roses during her reception.