Ann Tate: A lovely lady, inside and out

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Her smile is probably the first thing you notice about her. Then again, it could be the open and welcome hug she will give you in greeting.

One of the very first feature stories I wrote for The Luverne Journal was about Mrs. Ann Tate. She was announcing her retirement after 24 years as Crenshaw County's Circuit Clerk.

Actually, she had simply brought in a small picture of herself and a paragraph of information. When I read it, I thought that the entire announcement deserved so much more than just a picture and a caption, so I made an appointment to see her.

Immaculately dressed as she always is, Ann welcomed me into her office. What began as a formal interview turned into about a two-hour &#8220girl talk.” I was new to town and just getting to know people, so this turned out to be one of the best &#8220first” interviews I had.

Somehow or another, we finally finished the &#8220formal” part of the interview and began talking about our families, our friends, and just things in general.

One thing I have definitely learned about Ann Tate over this last year is that she loves her whole family. Every time I see Mr. Morris-always in that hat of his-he has a smile on his face. Mrs. Ann spoke proudly of her family that first day that I met her, telling me about each one. She is so proud of her sons, Jim, Will and Matt. Their entire family seems to be blessed with unconditional love and affection for one another.

Every time I see Ann, she smiles that bright smile and gives me a big hug, the kind that makes you feel like the most special person in the world to her at that very moment. That's just the kind of person she is.

Not only has she served this county for the last 24 years, but she is also deeply involved with the Crenshaw County Domestic Violence Task Force, not to mention being involved in her church, and the Luverne Rotary Club, just to name a few. She seems to always be doing something for others.

Every time I see her in the Chicken Shack, it makes a bright spot in my day. She's a good listener and encourager. She always has an understanding word for me no matter how bad my day might be going.

At her retirement reception Dec. 28, I just knew that the tears would be flowing. Jeannie Gibson and I laughed about how we had all tried not to cry during the ceremony. It's a woman thing, you know.

Actually, it's a whole lot more than that. When Ann talks about the ladies she has worked with for so long-Jeannie Gibson, Twyla Smith, Sherrie Sipper and Julie Sanders-she gets very emotional because the love and devotion is so obvious.

That's just the way it is.

Mrs. Ann Tate is definitely one of the most beautiful people I have ever met- both inside and out.

Regina Grayson is managing editor of The Luverne Journal. She can be reached at 335-3541 or by email: