Messenger photo by Jim Durban
After 34 years of keeping the law in order, Marie Parks, Madison Countys clerk of courts, is retiring.
“The contact with the attorneys and judges has been wonderful. Its been a privilege to work with them, said Parks, 84, whose last day on the job is Dec. 30. The public is welcome to attend an open house for Parks at 1 p.m. that day in the Common Pleas Court Room at the Madison County Courthouse in London.
Parks is stepping down due to recent illness and because she decidedit was time. She is three years into her ninth consecutive four-year term. Renae Zabloudil, an attorney in London, was elected in November to complete the term.
Parks was 10 when her family moved to Madison County. She graduated from Madison Rural in 1945 and that summer got her first job in the world of law, working for London attorney Robert Tanner. She returned to that line of work in 1954, taking a job with the Hackett & Patterson law firm and later working in the prosecutors office when James B. Patterson became county prosecutor.
In 1968, she became deputy clerk under county Clerk of Courts James Littler who was succeeded by Margie Bell. When Bell opted not to run again, Parks threw her hat in the ring. That was in 1977. Many election cycles since then, Parks faced competition for the seat. She came away with the win every time.
“The people of Madison County always supported me greatly, she said.
The job of the Clerk of Courts Office is to maintain the records and files of the countys Common Pleas Court, from divorces to criminal law suits. Parks said the workload has grown over the years.
“More filings and unfortunate foreclosures are making those numbers pretty high, she said.
As for how her staff keeps up, Parks said theywork real hard. During her tenure, the Clerk of Courts legal department staffing went from three people to five. The title office, also under the Clerk of Courts jurisdiction, went from two employees to four.
“Ive had wonderful help in the office, Parks said.
She also praised the common pleas judges with whom she has worked, first Gerald Baynes and then Robert D. Nichols, and the lawyers.
“Ive seen attorneys right out of law school become polished attorneys. Its nice to see them mature and become very accomplished, she said.
As for her replacement at the helm of the Clerk of Courts Office, Parks said,Im sure Renae will do a very good job.
Parks lives in the countryside outside of London. She has one daughter, two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. She hopes to do some traveling during her retirement.