Butts retires from courthouse work

Published 3:00 am Saturday, July 23, 2011

It will be the end of an era when r Maxine Butts retires next week.
Butts has been a familiar face in the office of the Judge of Probate for the past 28 years. In May of 1983, she was was working as a cashier at Cato when she was hired to come to work as a clerk at the Escambia County Courthouse.
“Back then everything was done by hand,” Butts said. “That was when Martha Kirkland was still the judge. Then Devon Wiggins was elected and I served with him during his whole time as judge. Rachel Agerton was the next judge, followed by the present judge, Emilie Mims.”
Butts worked her way through all the departments in the offices and in 2000, she was promoted to the position of Chief Clerk.
“The Chief Clerk can do anything that the judge can do except in contested hearings,” Butts said. “A lot of things have changed over the years. I think it’s a lot easier now than it was years ago when everything was done by hand. Computers have made a big difference in the way things are filed and you can put a lot of information in a small area. When I first started working here, everything was done by hand and took a long time to do. We also did car tags up until around 1996 when that was turned over to another department.”
Butts said the employees in the probate office have become very close and she feels like they are all part of one big family.
“The people that I have worked with over the past 28 years have become a part of my family,” she said. “We have shared the good times and the bad times together. We have been there for each other and I will miss them now that I am retiring.
“I have met a lot of people and made a lot of friends over the years,” she added. “I especially remember the Christmas seasons we have shared. Everybody went all out decorating the office and having secret pals. I will miss all those times, but I am excited about retirement, too.”
She said she and her husband, Perry Wayne Butts, are planning on doing a little traveling to visit relatives and sightseeing. They also love to go camping with their fifth wheel RV.
“We like to camp, so we will pull it up to Lake Martin and spend some time there,” she said. “I just look forward to doing whatever I want to do, whenever I want to do it,”
Butts grew up in the Wallace/Barnett’s Cross Roads area and attended school at Wallace until the ninth grade when she went to W.S. Neal High School. She graduated in 1967 and the very next day married her husband. They had two children, a son, Norman, and a daughter, Teresa. Norman Butts died last year, leaving a wife, Michelle, and her two children. Teresa Butts Wagner and her husband, Randy Wagner have a son, Timothy, and they live in Florida.
“I also have a couple of children who are like my own grandchildren,” Butts said. “My son had a friend, Jake Simpson, that he grew up with, and his children, Tristan and Madison are like my own.”

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