Nancy Pallas retires from District CourtPublished 8:19am Friday, August 21, 2009
By JOHN EBY
Dowagiac Daily News
CASSOPOLIS – Her Cass County Commissioner Minnie Warren, D-Pokagon Township, led the Board of Commissioners Thursday night in recognizing Nancy Pallas’ 16 years of service.
Resolution 120 of 2009, adopted 10-0, wishes her “the best in her retirement and future endeavors.”
Besides retiring effective Aug. 31, Pallas, accompanied by her husband, Dale, has been active in her community in a range of activities, from chairing the Miss Dowagiac pageant and Blossomtime events to organizing the Dogwood FIne Arts Festival’s popular tea.
“I started to cry when I was making up some notes before I left home,” she told commissioners.
Pallas hired on as a temporary clerk in the prosecuting attorney’s office in July 1993 and became a fulltime District Court clerk in 1994.She was then promoted to judicial secretary assignment clerk on July 30, 2001.
“I am leaving with mixed emotions,” said Pallas, describing herself as “anxious about what is down the road and sad to leave a job I really enjoyed. I’ve been employed by attorneys since 1965 and have had some wonderful experiences over those many years. Sixteen years ago I wanted a new challenge and there was an opening for an entry-level clerk. Then-administrator Diane Barrett-Curtis said, ‘You’ll be bored and the pay is very low,’ but she gave in and, after about a year and a half on that ticket clerk job, the next clerk went to Circuit Court and I moved. Then the criminal clerk retired, and I went there. Then the civil clerk retired. After that, the probation officer left her position, and the judge’s secretary moved to the probation office. And there I was, ready and willing for the next challenge.”
Pallas thanked retired Fourth District Judge Paul Deats “for hiring me and for letting me have that wonderful office in the back of the Law and Courts Building, where I have a great view of the wooded area. (Prosecutor) Victor (Fitz) and I share wildlife stories of deer, turkey, fox, coyote and our resident groundhog, Amanda.”
“The most frightening part of my job has been taking state certification for court recorder,” Pallas confided. “It had been years since I’d thought about my freshman and sophomore Latin and medical terminology. Well, at age 60, I passed it on the first time.”
“It has been a challenging, stimulating and wonderful experience that I wouldn’t change for anything, and I thank you very much,” Pallas said of her career-closing county employment as commissioners gave her a standing ovation.
“We’ve been friends for a number of years, and it is with regret to see you leaving, Nancy,” Chairman Bob Wagel, R-Wayne Township, said.