Photo by Jason A. Smith
Kay Veasley (left) was congratulated by Henry County Sheriff Keith McBrayer and others Friday, upon her retirement. Veasley was a clerk in Henry County Magistrate Court, where she previously served as a judge.
By Jason A. Smith
Kay Veasley, of McDonough, said although she is looking forward to her retirement from Henry County Magistrate Court, she will miss being a part of the law-enforcement community.
"I enjoyed working with all the officers," she said. "The sheriff's department has been a part of my life for 30-something years, so that's what I'm going to miss."
Veasley, 64, retired as the Magistrate Court's criminal clerk July 1. A party was held in her honor Friday, at the Henry County Judicial Center.
Veasley, a graduate of Henry County High School, attended the University of Georgia for two years. She began working as a clerk in the Henry County Sheriff's Office in 1977, prior to enrolling in the Clayton Police Academy. After becoming certified as an emergency medical technician, she went on the road with the Henry Sheriff's Office, where she remained for 8 1/2 years, before serving as a bailiff in Magistrate Court.
Veasley later worked for more than 20 years, part-time, as a magistrate judge in Henry.
"I went from serving the warrants, to helping to type the warrants," she said. "I enjoy helping people, and that was part of Magistrate Court -- helping people when they have problems."
Veasley retired from the bench four years ago, and became the court's criminal clerk.
Henry County Sheriff Keith McBrayer has known Veasley for much of his law-enforcement career, and was among more than 50 well-wishers at her retirement party. McBrayer described Veasley as a "good ambassador for Henry County."
"Kay is a good friend to a lot of people in the county, and she's a real people person," said the sheriff. "She represented Henry County well, and is the kind of employee that you would want to have working for you. She knew the courts, and knew her job. She had a wide scope of information about how the system works, and how to make things work in that system."
Veasley's husband, Henry County Sheriff's Sgt. Carl Veasley, said he admires his wife for the "dignified" way she has carried out various duties during her career. Kay Veasley, according to him, combined a sense of honor and integrity with compassion for others.
"Even though she may have had to make some harsh decisions in her capacity as a judge, or had to do some things she wasn't really comfortable with, she still cared about the people she dealt with," he said.
Henry County Chief Magistrate Court Judge Robert Godwin has worked with Veasley since 1991, presiding over numerous cases with her assistance. Godwin said he has learned a great deal from her.
"She's taught me a lot and helped me through a lot of bad situations," said the judge. "She's an excellent employee, and I enjoyed working with her."
April Blackburn took over as the criminal clerk in Magistrate Court upon Veasley's retirement, after working with her for nine years. Blackburn describes her predecessor as a "wonderful person," who will be missed. "Professionally, she's taught me everything I know," said Blackburn.
Kay Veasley said she plans to spend more time with her four children and seven grandchildren, as well as tending to her garden.