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‘Temp’ stuck around 37 years

What started as a temporary position at the Circuit Clerk’s office turned into 37 years of service for Debbie Dowdy.

Wednesday was Dowdy’s last day as a circuit clerk in Andalusia.

Dowdy is a graduate of Andalusia High School.

She started her job at the city clerk’s office when one of the workers had maternity leave.

“My first day on the job I went home crying to my husband at lunch,” Dowdy said.

“It was just so stressful. He told me that it would only be six weeks and I could do it.”

Little did either of them know, six weeks turned into 37 years.

Dowdy started at the clerk’s office in January of 1981, a time when things were still very manual.

She worked with all things civil: domestic relations, child support, juvenile and small claims.

Dowdy remembers when there were files upon files stacked in three separate offices within the courthouse and even on file in a building down the street.

“The files were everywhere and would get misplaced. It could take you hours to find one file,” she said.

“These days all the files are loaded into the computer and are always there.”

One thing Dowdy said she would miss the most is the people.

“Everyone has always been so great to me. The office works so well together and it’s such a family atmosphere,” she said. “The job really gave me a purpose.”

Dowdy plans to spend her retirement camping, fishing with her husband, walking and visiting her grandkids in Panama City.

“We bought a camper a while ago and haven’t been able to use it,” she said.

“I can go for walks without being in a hurry now.”

For everyone who worked alongside Dowdy, she said that she is appreciative.

“You have always been kind to me and that truly meant a lot,” she said.