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Beloved courthouse retiree receives royal sendoff

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First Deputy Cindy Holladay’s last day at work after almost 45 years in Chancery Court Clerk and Master Kenneth Todd’s office was Feb. 15. But Todd and employees of the office waited until March 2 to give her a surprise retirement party. And what a party it was.

When Cindy came to town at the invitation of coworkers, she noticed a huge American flag flying on the east side of the courthouse. But the thought never crossed her mind that it might be a part of her retirement surprise.

“I thought it might be in honor of some public official like the mayor,” she said.

The courthouse lawn on the east side was decorated with balloons and tall colorful letters that said “Happy Retirement Cindy” and “44”. At 2:30 p.m. a long line of vehicles traveled down East Main Street and circled the courthouse with horns honking and yells of “happy retirement” and waves toward Cindy as she stood outside the courthouse.

Mayor Dale Kelley even appeared with a proclamation in her honor,

In May would have marked her 45th year of being employed in the office. She has served almost all of that  44 years as first deputy.

Besides Todd, she has worked under Clerk and Masters Ida Crider Mebane and  Bill McConnell.

“There were two of us in the office when I started, myself and Pat Rich” she said. “Then there were three besides myself that today include Kathy Howell, Devon Williams and Alesia Osborn.

Of the many cases she’s handled, she says that adoptions were her favorite because there was always much happiness involved.

She said much of the work in the clerk and master’s office relates to sadness. The office handles divorces, land disputes, and probates. She started to work in the office immediately after graduating from Hollow Rock-Bruceton Central High School.

After working about a year she was made first deputy.

Her health is the main reason for her retirement. Since she is not quite retirement age at 62, she would have worked more years, but she has been battling cancer. In 2016 she had a kidney removed and in Jan. 2019 cancer was found in her lungs. The COVID situation further complicated matters last year.

What will she miss most about her day to day work routine?  She says it will definitely be her co-workers. because they are like her second family.

“Hopefully, the virus situation will get better and I can visit and eat lunch with them,” she said. “This has been a wonderful day and means so much to me because it shows that I have lots of people who love me.”

Todd said as an employer that he could never have found a more dependable, intelligent Christian employee than Cindy.

“She’s as perfect as a person can be,” he said. “I even seek her advice when in doubt about a situation.”

Cindy is married to Russell Holladay and they have one daughter, Lori Holladay, a nurse practitioner, and a Yorkie grand dog, Gracie.

“When the virus gets better I plan to travel more with my daughter,”  said Cindy of her future plans after retirement.

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