After a career that began in 1982, Susan Gasperini has announced her retirement as Clerk of the Circuit Court of Patrick County, effective April 1.
“Serving as Clerk of the Circuit Court has been a great part of my life and it is not easy to leave,” Gasperini said, “but there comes a time when you just realize: it’s time.
“I truly love working with the public and will particularly miss that part of my job,” she continued. “This has been a very difficult decision, and my feelings about retirement fluctuate daily. In my heart, though, I know this is the right choice.”
Gasperini was hired by the late David G. Hanby as deputy clerk in 1982 shortly after graduating from college with a degree in geriatric social work.
“He knew I had been unsuccessful in finding a job, and approached me outside church one Sunday and asked if I would be interested in coming to work at the clerk’s office,” Gasperini said. “I accepted and never left.
“I have such wonderful memories of serving as a deputy clerk under Mr. Hanby’s leadership. He well prepared me to assume the responsibility of clerk when I was first elected clerk in 1990.”
Gasperini said that the computerization of the clerk’s office was one of the biggest challenges faced during her tenure as Clerk because of budget constraints and a small staff.
“Looking back, though, it has been a blessing,” she added. “Today, if we had to do manual bookkeeping, it would be impossible because of the workload.
“And because we now scan all land records, wills and court orders, I don’t have to worry about finding additional space for the books previously used to record these documents.”
Gasperini, who resides in Stuart with her husband, Tracy, plans to stay actively involved in the county.
“It is with great fondness that I remember the past and present judges, attorneys, colleagues, and members of the public that I met through the Clerk’s Office,” Gasperini said. “I count it an honor to have served the people of Patrick County as Clerk, and I will miss the daily opportunity to help county citizens.
“My committed staff and I have been together for a long time, so it will be hard saying goodbye. I’d like to express my sincere appreciation to the citizens of Patrick County for their support and confidence in allowing me to serve them in this capacity.”
Gasperini will also be missed by many who worked with her. Patrick County Supervisor Lock Boyce, Mayo River District, and Town Administrator Tom Rose both said they were thankful for Gasperini’s years of service to the county, and wished her the best of luck with her retirement.
illiams, Chief Judge for Patrick Circuit Court, who has worked with Gasperini for 27 years, said, “It’s been great to work with her. She’s done a wonderful, wonderful job as clerk. She’s one of the best people in the world to work with.”
Circuit Court Judge Martin F. Clark, who worked with other clerks in courts across Virginia during a shortage of judges several years ago, said Gasperini is “the smartest, the most efficient and the most professional clerk in the state … and she will be missed like nobody’s business, especially by me.”
Noting Gasperini’s dedication and committment , Clark recalled a myriad of sewage problems when the jail was located above the clerk’s office.
“I don’t think people really understood,” Clark said in describing the severity of the plumbing issues. When the plumbing backed up, the record and deed rooms flooded with two-inches of potentially disease-ridden sewage.
Gasperini’s concern was the loss of irreplaceable records, he said. Rather than wait for a professional cleaning crew, Gasperini donned rubber gloves and boots. She then set about rescuing papers from the sewage and placing them on paper towels to dry.
“Who does that? I wouldn’t have done it,” Clark said. “She will be missed. She is amazing.”
Judge Carter Greer, who also presides over Patrick Circuit Court, said Gasperini has been an absolute delight to work with. “She is always thoroughly prepared and able to assist the judge with any problem that may arise. The files are well organized and it’s just been a real pleasure to work with her.
“I wish her well and I certainly hope that she spends her time enjoying life,” Greer said. “She’s worked hard enough.”