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Hundreds attend Parsons retirement gathering

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By Alice Du Pont

Hundreds attended the public retirement reception Nov. 13 for county Judge Stewart Parsons. Parson thanked the people who attended the event and said the past 9 years  he has spent on the bench have been the best of his life.

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Others, like Clerk of Courts Nicholas Thomas, praised Parsons for the enthusiasm he brought to the job and his willingness to work with others.

"He's been the best judge I've ever worked with. On behalf of the entire clerk's office, we're going to miss you. I am personally going to miss you for your guidance and the many conversations we shared," Thomas told the audience.

Gadsden County Sheriff Morris Young said Parsons is a man he learned to care for dearly after the two met several years ago while they were campaigning for political office. He said Parsons genuinely cares for the people of Gadsden County.

"He's the people's judge and he is exactly what Gadsden County needed. He will be missed," Young said.

Chairman of the Gadsden County Board of Commissioners Eugene Lamb said Parsons was well liked throughout the county. He described Parsons as a "fair and good man."

Former Rep. Curtis Richardson recalled meeting Parsons for the first time while he was employed at Florida State Hospital's legal department. The two, he said, became friends and remained close friends because he and Parsons share a genuine affection for people in general and the people of Gadsden County in particular.

Accolades flowed for nearly 2 hours and Parsons embraced everyone who spoke fondly of him.

He reiterated the fact that he is not ready to leave office but is forced to because of Legislative-imposed age limits. In Florida, a judge must retire at age 70. Parsons turned 70 Nov. 14.

Last week, Parsons was certified as a senior judge, allowing him to  preside over cases when other judges are on vacation, have a conflict, have overloaded dockets or because of illness.    

Send your comments to adupont@gadcotimes.com.