Marsh steps down as circuit clerk after 33 years in office

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By Kate Darnell

After 33 years on the job, Wanda Marsh celebrated her retirement as Harrison County Circuit Clerk Tuesday afternoon with coworkers, family and friends.

“It’s been a good 33 years,” said Marsh.

Marsh’s last day in the circuit clerk office was Wednesday, Dec. 31.

“I’ve enjoyed my work,” Marsh said. “I’ve enjoyed working with the attorneys and helping the public to the best of my ability.”

Marsh began her career as a deputy clerk in 1975 under the direction of circuit clerk Zetta Hollar.

“She was a great person,” Marsh said. “She taught me how to interact with the public and she showed me all the inner workings of the office.”

On Marsh’s first day of work, she was the second deputy clerk in the office. Her work consisted of maintaining minute books, order books and manual typewriters.

“Everything has changed so much from doing it manually,” she said. “Now everything is computerized... I’ve seen a lot of changes.”

A deputy clerk for 16 years, Marsh was promoted to chief deputy clerk, a position she served in for over a year before her name ran against three men on the 1993 May ballot for circuit clerk.

Elected to begin her first term as circuit clerk in January 1994, Marsh was appointed five months earlier to fulfill John William Kearn’s position as circuit clerk after he announced his retirement in July 1993.

Of all her work, Marsh said she will miss her eight deputy clerks most.

“Although they’re my deputy clerks, they’re some of my closest friends,” she said. “Without my deputy clerks, this office would not survive.”

Marsh said she had debated her retirement for a year.

“I talked off and on about it all year... You just kind of know when the time comes,” she said about her decision. “I just felt the time was right.”

Mike Redden from Pendleton County will serve as special circuit clerk, until Circuit Judge Robert McGinnis appoints someone to fill Marsh’s position, a period of time Marsh said she expected would last no more than two weeks.

Those individuals to be considered for appointment by McGinnis will have to have successfully completed the state-required test.

Marsh will join her husband J. Frank in retirement.

The couple has two children, Matt and Kim, and one grandson Benjamin.