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Retirement beckons for longtime clerk
Forsyth County Probate Court Chief Deputy Clerk Patty Pickelsimer, left, shares a laugh with former colleague Judy Westray during Pickelsimer's retirement party Friday. She is stepping down after 23 years. - photo by Autumn McBride

Short of catching up on some rest, Patty Pickelsimer hasn’t decided what she’ll be doing in her retirement years.

The Forsyth County Probate Court chief deputy clerk celebrated the end of her 23 years of service during a reception Friday with friends and family.

“I have not carved anything into stone,” Pickelsimer said of her retirement plans. “I’m going to sleep late and then I’ll decide what I’m going to do.”

Pickelsimer said she will miss her co-workers, Probate Court Judge Lynwood “Woody” Jordan and those who sought the court’s services.

“We’ve got a wonderful group of people,” she said. “You can’t do something for 23 years and not miss it.”

Jordan read aloud a resolution honoring Pickelsimer and her work for the court. She also received cards from the staff.

“It’s going to be a big loss for us,” Jordan said. “She’s been the central rock, the anchor of the Probate Court who handled all the problems, who took care of the problems as they arose, who had the vast store of knowledge about all the things probate court does.

“She’s going to be sorely missed by everybody.”

Jordan said Pickelsimer has been a “smoothing influence” in the office and has been a great source of knowledge for everyone who works there.

Not only did Pickelsimer’s current co-workers join her Friday, but a few who retired before her stopped by to offer congratulations and advice on the next phase of her life.

Jordan’s predecessor, Joyce Hawkins, said Pickelsimer had been a wonderful employee.

“She knew what the job consisted of,” Hawkins said. “She didn’t have to be prodded or prompted. She did everything without hesitation and always would step up to the plate and give it 100 percent.

“But most of all, I want to thank her for just being my special friend.”

Judy Westray, who retired about a year ago as Superior Court chief deputy clerk, said she’s been enjoying her time off and told Pickelsimer “you will too.”

“You know when it’s time and it’s right,” Westray told her friend. “Patty’s always had a smile, ever since I’ve known her, always with the customers and everything.”

Pickelsimer thanked the group for coming to the reception, saying she felt “truly blessed to have such good friends and family.”