Pam Minshew has worn many hats as Wayne County Clerk of Superior Court -- probate judge, record keeper, comptroller, administrator, leader.
She will soon add a new one -- retiree.
Minshew, who is completing her third four-year term, has announced that she will not seek re-election.
"After 38 years of working in the office of the Wayne County Clerk of Superior Court, I have decided to retire at the end of my current term," Minshew said. "It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve as your Wayne County clerk of court for the past 12 years.
"I would like to thank the people of Wayne County for their support and confidence shown to me while working in the clerk's office. I would also like to thank my staff for their support and eagerness to learn and serve the people of Wayne County."
Minshew said she is very proud of the office receiving two clean audits conducted by the N.C. Office of the State Auditor in 2012 and again in 2017.
Minshew, a Democrat, said she will miss the job, but looks forward to having more time to spend with her two grandchildren and parents.
Filing for the office, and others in the upcoming November midterm election, began Monday at noon and will end at noon on Wednesday, Feb. 28.
Minshew's son Justin, a Goldsboro attorney, filed Monday as a Democratic candidate for the clerk's office.
Minshew, 63, grew up in the Rosewood community.
After graduating from Rosewood High School she went to work in the Wayne County Tax Office for about a year before going to Cherry Hospital to work in the special counsel office.
While there she would help employees in the clerk's office get their work done from Cherry Hospital involuntary commitments. She worked at Cherry from September 1974 to December '79.
In '79, Shelton Jordan, who was clerk at that time, called and asked her if she would like to come to work in the clerk's office.
"He called me in one day, and I thought, 'oh my goodness, what have I done wrong?'" she said. "He said, 'how would you like to come to work for me?' I said I would love it."
Minshew left the clerk's office in July 1980 to run a convenience store that she owned.
She returned in July 1985. Minshew was promoted in 1992 from a deputy clerk to assistant clerk by former Clerk David Brantley, now a District Court judge.
She was first elected clerk in 2006.
She actually served as interim clerk for three days prior to taking the oath of office in December of that year when then Clerk Marshall Minchew left office three days early.
"I have been clerk ever since, and I love my job. I absolutely love it," she said. "It is very stressful. My first year as clerk, it wasn't so bad, but it has just gotten very stressful now because the clerk's office, everything gets pushed to them. Everybody comes to the clerk's office with problems. We have to help them get through it.
"It's not an easy job. It is stressful, but I guess I grew up in it, and I just deal with it. I think what I love most about my job is working with the people. I have enjoyed it. I did estates and special proceedings the whole time that I was in the clerk's office as a deputy and assistant."
Helping people whose loved ones has died is "rewarding," she said.
"When I became clerk you would not believe the number of people who walked up to me, and it had been years since I had helped them, and they said, 'I am going to vote for you because I remember how good you were to us when' some of their family died," Minshew said.
"That is rewarding, very rewarding. I just like it. I guess it is because I have been here forever, and I don't know any different than not to like it."
She remembers one case where a man was injured in a wreck and was no longer able to handle his business matters.
"His wife, as bad as she hated it, had to have him declared incompetent," Minshew said. "It was really sad because he just couldn't do it."
A few years later the man returned to normal, and Minshew was able to work with the family and restore the man's competency status.
"To me that was wonderful," she said. "If I see them now, they still talk about it -- how we were able to do that ... and he is doing great now."
Minshew has seen many changes in her nearly four decades in the office.
She recalls when court calendars were created using mimeographs.
"The sheets, you had to type them up, and the print would go through," she said. "Then you would put them on this big ink barrel, and you would fold it (paper) over and run it this way," she said using her hand to mimic turning a handle. "We have come a long way since then.
"It was a great big old barrel-looking thing with ink all around it. If you didn't get it just right, it would smear every where. Then you took a handle and turned each calendar page out. One by one."
The move to computers has been "wonderful," Minshew said.
But it is still difficult to keep up with technology because everything is growing so fast, she said.
But while there have been so many changes over her 38 years there, the mission of the office has not changed and that is to help people, Minshew said. Minshew oversees 35 employees in the clerk's office, and her advice for whomever follows her in office is to treat the employees all the same and to be fair with all them.
"To treat the public nice," she said. "I tell all my employees they are to treat anybody who walks in our office just like it was their family. They do, and I think they do a great job with that -- to serve the public."