Edna Camp, chief deputy Criminal Court clerk since 1977, is finally saying good bye to the Courts Building.
Well, not quite. She has agreed to stay on for two days a week through the end of the year, Criminal Court Clerk Vince Dean said.
With 58 years on the job, she is the longest serving county employee and set a record for service for a clerk in the state of Tennessee.
She was honored with a reception at the Courts Building attended by her 99-year-old mother, Gladys McGee, and a host of others.
Ms. Camp recalled that it was her shorthand abilities that landed her the job. On March 15, 1961, she went to the Kelly Girl office to try to find employment. The group was asked if anyone knew how to do shorthand. When she raised her hand, she was told there was an opening at a county office.
She then joined the staff of Clyde "Sandy" Sanders. She later worked for Leon Haley, Bud Rohen and Gwen Tidwell.
Judge Mickey Barker, who was the emcee, noted that when Ms. Camp joined the staff there were just two criminal judges - Tillman Grant and Campbell Carden. A third division was added in 1966.
County Mayor Jim Coppinger, who honored her along with Mayor Andy Berke and Congressman Chuck Fleischmann, called her "the First Lady of the Courthouse."
Mr. Dean said, "When I got into office and needed to know something, I went to Edna. There is no way to replace her."
Ms. Camp, who is also the longtime pianist and organist at Morris Hill Baptist Church, called the reception and turnout "overwhelming."
She said after getting to the courthouse that first day "I knew where I wanted to be."
With tears in her eyes, she said, "It's been wonderful."