St. Francois County lost Elizabeth “Betty” Medley, one of its longest-serving employees and administrator of the Weber Road Facility, on Feb. 28 at the age of 76 after more than 36 years of service.
Starting with the county on Sept. 1, 1985, Medley worked for various officials including the county auditor, collector, road and bridge department and the commission.
During the March 15 commission meeting, Medley was honored with proclamations from the Missouri governor and the Missouri House of Representatives. County Clerk Kevin Engler presented the awards to Medley’s children.
“(Presiding Commissioner Harold Gallaher) had declared this day to be ‘Betty Medley Day’ in St. Francois County,” he said. “Representative Mike Henderson sends this resolution. Our intention is today is to honor Betty, she worked for us a long, long time. We never got a chance to honor her as a retirement, because she didn’t retire.”
Other honors included the flags were flown at half-staff on March 2 and a moment of silence was held at the Missouri Assembly in her honor. A plaque with a photo of Medley will hang on the wall in the commissioner’s meeting room.
Several county officials spoke about Medley and how she helped them over the years with the business of the county.
Gallaher stated that she was first on his mind when setting up the Weber Road Facility.
“I put her right up there front and center. I depended on her, she knew everybody, could get along with people. She was a good front for the county,” he said.
Sheriff Dan Bullock, in his remembrance of Medley, went all the way back to his first election and receiving her help.
“I had nobody, no secretarial help to type things and do things for me,” he said. “Betty stepped up to the plate that first day in 1992 when I was elected. ‘What do you need done? I will help you.’ She did and has been a lifelong friend since. Good person to bounce things off of. When we had secretary’s day at the sheriff’s office, Betty was invited to come along, she was a part of us.”
Louie Seiberlich, county auditor, talked about Medley’s wealth of historical knowledge of county policy and procedure.
“More than anything, Betty was a historian of county government,” he said. “With her more than three decades of working, not only in the courthouse, but in the annex and moving to the Weber Road Facility, she took with her a wealth of the past. If we ever had a question about ‘I wonder why they did it that way?’ she could fill in the blanks for us. Her desk drawer basically had all of that. She would look in there and pull out something and say, ‘Here’s why it was done that way.’”
Engler said that not only was Medley a long term employee, she was what he called an “excited employee”.
“She didn’t want to retire because she liked working here and interacting with people,” he said. “She liked doing the business of the county. That’s why it was important — I hadn’t been around here that long to know if we had a particular day devoted to somebody — but I think it’s appropriate for somebody that’s worked that long here that has devoted so much of her time and refused to retire so she could keep working for the people of St. Francois County.”