Nancy Pallas was surprised when she left her home in Dowagiac Friday morning for her last day at Fourth District Court to find Deputy Al Strukel waiting to deliver her to Cassopolis. Though he spared her neighbors on Warren Drive in Henry Heights, siren and flashing lights heralded her arrival at the Law and Courts Building, where her two judges, Paul Deats and Stacey Rentfrow, joined her colleagues at a retirement party at the end of the afternoon. (The Daily News/John Eby)
Nancy Pallas was surprised when she left her home in Dowagiac Friday morning for her last day at Fourth District Court to find Deputy Al Strukel waiting to deliver her to Cassopolis. Though he spared her neighbors on Warren Drive in Henry Heights, siren and flashing lights heralded her arrival at the Law and Courts Building, where her two judges, Paul Deats and Stacey Rentfrow, joined her colleagues at a retirement party at the end of the afternoon. (The Daily News/John Eby)

Archived Story

Sheriff sends Nancy Pallas a ‘limo’ ride on her last day

Published 9:04am Monday, August 31, 2009

By JOHN EBY
Dowagiac Daily News

CASSOPOLIS – Nancy Pallas’ last day at Fourth District Court started with a ride in a police car, but at least her chauffeur, Deputy Al Strukel, didn’t lead her away in handcuffs or make her ride in back.

A surprised Pallas left her house on Warren Drive in Dowagiac at a quarter past 7 to drive to Cassopolis and found the squad car with lights swirling in the rain.

Strukel saved the siren for their arrival at the Law and Courts Building, where she worked for 16 years.

Pallas hired on as a temporary clerk in the prosecuting attorney’s office in July 1993 and became a full-time District Court clerk in 1994. She was then promoted to judicial secretary assignment clerk on July 30, 2001.

Pallas, employed by attorneys since 1965, was District Judge Paul Deat’s secretary until he retired and closed out her career this year with new District Judge Stacey Rentfrow.
Growing up, Pallas wanted to teach business. She attended Michigan State University, passed the civil service exam and almost went to work at the Pentagon in the section terrorists bombed on Sept. 11, 2001.

She and Dale, her husband of 45 years, met at what is now Lake Michigan College, where she also worked as secretary to the president.

The Pallases, who plan a fall color cruise up the Atlantic coast, have two children, Dawn, of Rockford, and Christopher, of Atlanta, and four grandchildren.

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