It is said the measure of a person is not so much how much material wealth one has accumulated as it is how many people claim a friendship — or at the very least, a kinship — with someone. Candy Mathis is indeed a very rich person, as demonstrated by the number of people who attended her retirement party held in the Polk County History Center on Friday, March 28.
It was a fitting place to hold the tribute to Mathis, who retired after 35 years with the Polk County Clerk of the Courts office, for it was at the History Center when it was still the county courthouse that she began her career.
“I started here in April 1979,” said Mathis. “I began as a deputy clerk in the civil court department.” From there she was promoted to a supervisor, which was then followed by several promotions to manager with various departments.
“When you write about this lady, make sure everything is superlative,” said Richard Weiss as he hugged her. “She’s the heart of the Clerk’s office.”
Weiss, the now-retired Clerk of the Court and County Comptroller was one of her former bosses.
“We’re going to miss Candy,” said Stacy Butterfield, who succeeded Weiss, and who worked with Mathis nearly 28 years. “I can tell you, Candy is one of the most loyal, dedicated employees of the Clerk’s office. She had everyone’s respect.
That word, respect, was one of several Butterfield would use to describe Mathis during the formal portion of the celebration. The other words included “dedicated” and “quality.” Overall, Butterfield told Mathis that the latter contributed to the success of the department. Mathis, she continued, demonstrated her commitment to teamwork as both a leader and a cheerleader. “Your leadership has been keen to all of this.”
In his presentation, Weiss spoke of the kinship among he, Mathis and Carol Adams, who retired two months ago and was also on hand to celebrate. The three of them began their association at approximately the same time, Weiss said, all training together. He added they were the “Three Amigos.”
Rick Butterfield, also retired from the Clerk of Courts office, had further words of praise.
“What I really remember about her is she was very patient, nice to be around and always had a smile on her face,” said Rick Butterfield. “Never said anything bad about anyone.”
Following an ode and then a skit, Mathis was given the opportunity to comment. She thanked all the people with whom she had worked throughout the years.
“They have made the past years wonderful,” Mathis said, and then she thanked Weiss and spoke of the emotions surging through her and how those feelings related to the two of them. “Now I feel what he must have felt.”
Mathis concluded that she was going to miss everyone.