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Ending a 47-year career

Jun. 27, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

IRONTON -- Linda Kelly's initial three-day stint in the Lawrence County Clerk of Courts office turned into a 47-year career.

Kelley started working in the clerk of courts office on the first floor of the Lawrence County Courthouse in 1965, working for the first of five elected clerks of courts over nearly a half-century.

The Ironton High School graduate took commercial classes that included bookkeeping and typewriting when she applied for the job at the courthouse with Homer Hayes.

"When I got the job, I was just 18," Kelly said. "I couldn't even vote. (Hayes) liked me. He said, 'I have three days' work for you.' I just kept working. I did things like journal entries, cash book and answered the phone. When I started, we were using a manual typewriter."

Through the years, that gave way to an electric typewriter and finally computers in the late 1980s, Kelly said.

After Hayes, Kelly worked for Dale Burcham for 32 years, for Bob Blankenship, for Les Boggs and finally Mike Patterson.

"Linda has a lot of knowledge," Patterson said Monday. "She'll be missed. I have a great group of employees. It's been great working for her. I just wish her the best."

Her last day on the job will be Friday.

"I don't know where the years have gone," Kelly said. "I can get along with anybody. I have worked with a lot of good people over the years."

She plans to keep busy after she retires.

"I'll spend time with family and friends," she said. "I love to read. One thing I won't have to do is to get ready to come to work when it's snowy and icy outside."

The snow and ice were a problem when Kelly fell and hurt her leg. While she recovered, she used to maneuver around the clerk's office on a walker. As the leg got better, she moved from the walker to a cane before she was able to discard it, too.

"It's time," Kelly said. "I'll miss the people. I'm used to being around people. I do feel blessed to not have to look for another job."