CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- For over almost three decades, Phyllis Gatson has gotten out of bed every morning to prepare for her workday at the Kanawha County Courthouse.
That routine will change come New Year's Day.
Gatson is retiring from public service at the start of 2013. She has served as Kanawha County Assessor since 1995.
The longtime public servant also served as Kanawha County Magistrate from 1976 until she was appointed to her first term as assessor.
When asked what she was going to do after her retirement, Phyllis answered, "I'm not sure."
The 84-year-old is thinking about finding a part-time job, she said.
Incoming assessor Sallie Robinson and Cathy Gatson, the Kanawha County Circuit Court Clerk and Phyllis' daughter, said they would be able to keep her busy.
"I'm always going to need her advice," Robinson said. "She's going to be on my hotline."
"She'll always be able to come over to my office and volunteer," Cathy said with a smile.
Phyllis will miss working with people the most once she retires, she said. She has become accustomed to talking to folks in the office and hearing about their lives, she said.
"I don't like to go home," Phyllis said. "I always have people around me here at the office to talk to."
Phyllis won't just miss the people in the office and the courthouse, Cathy and Robinson said. She will also be missed terribly by those who have worked with her.
"I'm used to being able to look out my office window and seeing the light on in her office," Cathy said.
Cathy works in the Kanawha County Judicial Annex across Virginia Street from the old courthouse where Phyllis' office is located.
"It's been a special privilege to work beside my mom," Cathy said. "She's been a great role model for me and everyone else in the courthouse."
Cathy has worked in the circuit clerk's office since 1987.
A retirement reception was held for Phyllis on Dec. 11 in the courthouse. During the festivities, a plaque was dedicated in her honor inside the judicial annex.
Courtroom 1, which sits inside the judicial annex near the corner of Virginia and Court streets, was also named for Phyllis.
Phyllis started her public service as a magistrate. She was one of the first class of magistrates elected in Kanawha County after state voters passed the West Virginia Judicial Reorganization amendment.