Gretta Logan, office manager and senior deputy clerk of Liberty County Probate Court, retired after 34 years with the county.
A surprise lunch reception was held in her honor Monday afternoon in the Liberty County Justice Center jury room, where friends, family and co-workers shared stories of how Logan impacted their lives and laughter was abundant.
Liberty County Probate Judge Nancy Aspinwall said her mother brought her and Logan together. Her mother knew Logan, who at the time worked at a store called Rogers, before working for Aspinwall in Probate Court. Aspinwall talked about how close she and Logan became.
“Gretta used to go home to Alabama, and when she came back she’d have clothes and I’d say, ‘Gretta, I gotta have of those dresses’,” Aspinwall said. “We would dress alike. She would buy me clothes just like hers. Births in both our families, whether it’s children, grandchildren, the deaths that took place in my family, Gretta has been there for me and I’ve been there for her. I truly love Gretta.”
Attorney Jim Smith of Ratcliffe and Smith thanked Logan on behalf of the lawyers who practice in Probate Court. Attorney Russell Putnam Jr. thanked Logan for standing between him and insanity.
County Commissioner Gary Gilliard said he and Logan served together on a grand jury about 10 years ago.
“We’ve had a great time on that grand jury,” Gilliard said. “I did everything I could to keep her from keeping me out of trouble.” Gillard said, laughing. He described her as a good friend and one who has always supported him.
Hillery Sanchez, Logan’s daughter, said, “I just love my mom. She has an awesome heart. She’s done so much in the community, so much in the church and for her family.”
Sanchez said that she will be her mother’s retirement manager and will make sure Logan takes enough time to care for herself and enjoy retirement.
She said that when people notice her they say, “You must be Gretta’s daughter.” She called that an honor and privilege.
Husband Larry Logan said he is excited about his wife’s retirement.
“I’m excited because when my wife retires, I’ll get my identity back. … Wherever I go, they say, ‘You’re Gretta’s husband,’” he said as people laughed. “From all the reports that I’ve gotten from everybody, it’s always been positive. I’ve never gotten negative reports or anything like that. I love this woman.”
In the room were hydrangeas, his wife’s favorite plant. He said he did that to let her know how much he appreciates her.
“I just want to say to my bride, my wife, my friend, ‘Congratulations with this transition’,” he said. “We’re here to support you, and it’s going to be a great time.”
Prosecuting attorney Jeffrey Osteen described Gretta Logan as his “go-to-girl” whenever he had a question or problem in Probate Court. He said he will miss her and appreciates all she has done.
Pastor Dr. M.L. Jackson of Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church talked about the significance of Logan’s name.
“Gretta’s name in the Greek means ‘pearl.’ Everyone knows a pearl is formed through irritation,” Jackson said. “She’s worked around a bunch of people who have brought her things that have irritated them. She’s been able to fix it.”
Jackson said a prayer to bless the food and Logan’s future endeavors. After the prayer, Aspinwall said that her mother’s name was Pearl and that there’s a connection.
Logan then addressed the crowd.
“I just want to say that I feel so tremendously blessed for so many things and to be able to see this day, and be able to look around and see so many great relationships,” she said. “I love Probate Court. I enjoy the work that I do.”
She said that there have been very few times when matters in Probate Court are “smooth sailing” because most involve complicated issues. She reminds herself that she is dealing with someone who has lost a spouse or has a special-needs child or parents who are no longer capable of managing their own affairs. Logan thanked God for the impact she has had in different areas and in people’s lives.
“It has been 34 years that seem to have flown by. There are just memories on top of memories on top of memories and journeys. These people are like my family,” she said. “It’s just been phenomenal, the things we’ve gone through. Wow, just to see this day come has been amazing. I just want to thank you all. I just thank God. I know that this is a new thing and there’s great things ahead. I love you guys.”
Logan will still be seen around Probate Court. She will be a contract, part-time employee.