Archive for Wednesday, November 24, 1999

Register of deeds retiring

November 24, 1999

Dora "Susie" Parmer, Leavenworth County register of deeds since 1964, has announced her retirement, effective Dec. 31.

The Leavenworth County Democratic Party and precinct board will recommend a successor for Parmer. That recommendation will be forwarded to county commissioners, the Democratic party chairperson and the county election officer, Parmer said.

"That person will have to stand for election next year, but will be appointed to complete my term, which will not be up until January 2001," Parmer said.

The decision to resign after 35 years came after long, hard thought, Parmer said.

"The job has pretty much been who I was," Parmer said.

Parmer, who lives in Tonganoxie, said she has been interested in politics throughout her life.

"I was always interested in politics as a young girl, and then I watched the national conventions on television," Parmer said. "I always thought it was very exciting."

She stepped into the political life somewhat when she married Okie Parmer, a deputy sheriff in Leavenworth County.

"My interest was there, and it just continued with him," Parmer said.

She served on the precinct committee and helped at the polls. Then, after her husband was killed in an accident, in 1963, Parmer was asked to run for register of deeds.

"I did and I defeated the incumbent and I have been very fortunate to have been re-elected since then," Parmer said.

"It's been 13 elections that I've been in and I think I have had opposition four times," Parmer said.

When she started the job, the terms lasted two years. In 1976, the position switched to a four-year term.

Throughout her 35 years, Parmer has lived in Tonganoxie.

"I've always had good solid support in Tonganoxie," Parmer said. "The community has been very supportive of me and my family throughout the years."

Through her years as register of deeds, the system of record-keeping has changed, Parmer said.

"I took the records from books to microfilm and now we are computerized and on the verge of going to the Web," Parmer said.

Microfilmed copies of records are stored in the salt mines.

"If anything should ever have happened at the courthouse, I think the most important thing to the people of this county is that they would still have had access to the records," Parmer said.

"They say that this was the biggest problem in Sarajevo the fact that there were no records to go back and see who owned what," Parmer said.

Above and beyond her professional duties, Parmer represented her field in professional organizations.

She served as president of the Kansas register of deeds association, and served on the legislative committee for 30 years. Moreover, Parmer was responsible for initiating a school for newly elected regiaters of deeds.

After retirement, Parmer said she plans to have fun.

"I'm going to enjoy a little freedom and spend time with my family," she said. "I have always been a person to be out and about, and I'm sure that I'll keep busy. Whether it will be with another job I don't know, but it will be a freedom that I haven't experienced."

Indeed, Parmer said that during her term as register of deeds, she never took a two-week vacation.

"It was my own decision," she said. "The main thing is how much I enjoyed my work. It was very much a part of my life."

As for speculation as to how long it will take her to become accustomed to retirement, Parmer laughed, then said, "I hope not 35 years."

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