“Ann came to work doing the very best she could,” Shrewsbury explained to the assembled crowd of well-wishers. “There was never a time Ann did not try to do her very best. It was not for me, it was for her glory and I was lucky enough to benefit from that drive.”
A small crowd gathered for the award presentation held in a courtroom Tuesday. Gayla Miller, circuit and criminal court clerk, explained the event felt like a reunion.
“Ann has been here for 37 years,” Miller explained. “I have been here a little less than her, and these people in this courtroom are almost like family.”
Wilson stood at the front of the room smiling as Shrewsbury sang her praises.
“I introduced Ann this morning to Kristina Brown and Ann said, ‘Is she my replacement?’ I told her, ‘No. No replacement, Ann. There never could be,” Shrewsbury recalled. “Ann has been a model employee.”
According to Shrewsbury, Wilson’s heart sometimes led her to trouble. The answering laughter from the crowd confirmed his report.
“Sometimes her heart makes her do things she probably should not be doing. She doesn’t only want to help people, she wants to solve their problems; all of them,” Shrewsbury said.
The inscription on Wilson’s plaque read, “In grateful appreciation of 37 years of service to the people of Bradley County. May you enjoy your retirement.”
Shrewsbury left Wilson with a final task.
“I want Ann to do three things. I want Ann to relax. I want Ann to enjoy and I want her to minister,” Shrewsbury said. “As I understand it, tomorrow morning she will take over supervising Bill [Wilson’s husband].”
Wilson came from the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office to the Bradley County Courthouse as a deputy clerk. According to Miller, Wilson filed domestic cases and delinquent taxes among other duties. The turnout for her recognition surprised Wilson.
“I do appreciate having everyone come today, it is awesome. The turnout is amazing and everyone has really been wonderful. I did not expect this many people,” Wilson said while addressing the crowd.
“I love my family, I love my friends — I have an extended family,” Wilson shared and added. “The acquaintances I have made down through the years are just treasures to me.”
According to Wilson, she acted as a link between those in need and those offering assistance. Being that link was the most rewarding aspect of her job, she said.
“I have always felt like I have assisted people in whatever dilemma they were in at that point. I always tried to get them to the right place to help them,” Wilson said. “We have worked with so many great people over the years so it has made it a very rewarding job.”
The crowd gave Wilson a round of applause after she received her plaque and thanked friends and family.
“I know the Lord put me in this job, not only for my financial well-being, but to be able to help others,” Wilson said. “Even if it was just a smile or giving a hug to someone who was crying after being in court.”
Wilson and Shrewsbury planned her retirement for the same day as her birthday, July 9. The 66-year-old is already trying to figure out what she wants to do with her life next. Kristina Brown will be taking over for Wilson.