GREENVILLE — For the past 12 years, visitors to the Darke County Board of Commissioners Office on South Broadway were greeted with a big smile from a petite lady stationed at the front desk.
Today will be the last day on the job for Patty Harter, assistant clerk/secretary who is retiring. On Wednesday, fellow workers and friends stopped in to pay their respects and share some cake and punch.
“It’s overwhelming,” Harter said, as she and her husband J.L. greeted well-wishers, many with tears in their eyes.
Harter was born and raised in Michigan, but moved to Union City when she was a sophomore in high school. It was while working for Sheller-Globe Corporation she met her husband. The two will celebrate their 50th anniversary this September.
Before she worked for the county, she and her husband also ran a furniture store, Harter Furniture, and she spent time as a “mom” raising their two sons.
Harter’s three “bosses” praised her attitude and her professionalism.
“I’m going to miss her joy and bubbly personality,” said Commissioner Mike Rhoades. “Whenever you walk through the front door you always get a smile no matter what. She always treats people with the utmost respect. She answers the phone wonderfully. To me, that first impression of a business where you come is the lasting impression for everybody, so we’ll miss that.”
“I am going to miss teasing her,” said Commissioner Mike Stegall. “For the last seven years I’ve enjoyed making her laugh, because her laugh’s infectious and it makes me feel good when I know she’s having fun. That’s one thing I’m going to miss with Patty. She’s been an outstanding first person to meet when you come into the commissioners’ office. She sets a very good example for the county.”
“The second day I was here, she resigned,” said Commissioner Matt Aultman, jokingly. “Patty’s been a true joy to work with for the short amount of time I’ve worked with her. I wish her the best in retirement and the best in the future.”
Perhaps the person most likely to miss Harter’s presence is Administrative Clerk/Secretary Robin Blinn, who pointed out not only Harter’s thoughtfulness and helpfulness, but also her friendship.
“Knowing that if I can’t be here, she can do my work. She can just step in and fill in with anything,” she said. “We get used to each other’s habits, and we always get along. I’m going to miss her being in here every day. She’s just a treat to work with.”
Harter said she and her husband have no big plans to travel, and will enjoy spending time being home and doing things there. She will, however, miss her county family as well as others she’s gotten to know over the years.
“It’s just been a privilege to work for the commissioners,” she said. “And all the people here. It’s just so nice. All the people get to be like family.”
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