Family, friends and co-workers gathered Thursday at the Dave Landrum Community Center to bid farewell to Osage County Treasurer Joyce Hathcoat who will retire effective July 1.
Hathcoat has served as Osage County treasurer since 1989. She will be succeeded by her first deputy, Sally Hulse.
"These have been the best 25 years of my employed life," said Hulse as she welcomed everyone to the gathering. "Not only is Joyce a good boss, she is a great friend. I have enjoyed working with Joyce so much and appreciate the many opportunities she has given me."
District 1 County Commissioner Bob Jackson presented Hathcoat with an engraved clock.
"On behalf of all county employees, this is a small token of our appreciation for all you have done," said Jackson. "As you know, there is a lot of work to being a public figure."
Smiling, Hathcoat replied, "I know."
In accepting the award, Hathcoat said, "I’m going to try to say something without bawling. I really appreciate everyone coming out, including my family. I could not have been County Treasurer for the past 30 years had it not been for my family. There were many times when Jerry had to step in for me when I couldn’t break away from work. It was a joint effort. I also could not have served the county without the great help I had. You all are part of my family. Thank you for letting me serve you and thank you for helping me celebrate this milestone in my life."
Hulse said Hathcoat was so intrigued with the custom-pieced quilt that the County Clerk’s office presented to Denny Hutson when she retired last December, that she jokily asked her office staff, "Who’s going to make my quilt?"
"We knew she was planning to retire and decided it would be a joint effort," said Hulse. "Debbie Coon got right to work on crocheting an eagle that would be the center of the patriotic-themed quilt. Debbie also cut the quilt blocks. Kathy Walker’s mother, Joan Mills, pieced the quilt. Court Clerk Sheila Bellamy provided photos for the back of the quilt. Linda Ware customized the name plate and Wanda Jones of the ‘Tangled Thread’ did the quilting."
Before the finished masterpiece was presented to Hathcoat, guests were invited to write well wishes in the area surrounding fabric photos of the courthouse and treasurer’s office.