LUMBERTON — Renae Hunt, Robeson County’s Superior Court clerk since Aug. 3, 2003, is retiring. Her last day will be March 31.
“I love this job. I love having had the opportunity to help people,” Hunt said. “But there comes a point in time when it is time to go.”
Hunt has worked in the county Clerk of Courts Office since being hired as a deputy clerk in 1977. She was elevated to the position of assistant clerk, then was appointed clerk by Judge Robert “Frank” Floyd Jr., the county’s senior resident Superior Court judge, when Joann Locklear retired in July 2003.
In 2004, Hunt was elected to complete the remaining two years of Locklear’s four-year term. She then went on to be re-elected to four-year terms in 2006 and 2010.
Floyd has appointed Shelena Smith, an attorney with the law firm of Smith & Graham in Lumberton, as the county’s next Superior Court clerk. She will be sworn into the office at 3 p.m. on April 1.
Hunt, 56, of Rowland, is a graduate of King’s Business College in Charlotte. Before going to work for the county court system she worked for attorney Henry Ward Oxendine.
She moved on to the county clerk’s office after her grandfather told her to go and interview for a job.
“My granddaddy, Brownie Hunt, knew Ben Floyd, then the clerk of court,” Hunt said. “He told me to go see Floyd about a job and I did. He hired me on the spot.”
Hunt said that she has seen significant changes in the clerk’s office during the 36 years she worked there.
“When I first came here there were no computers, no copy machines,” she said. “Everything had to be recorded manually.”
Hunt said that her office has seen tremendous growth, both in the number of its employees and the number of criminal and civil cases being handled in the Robeson County courts.
“When I came here there were 12 employees,” Hunt said. “There are now 44 employees.
“Case loads of both criminal and civil cases have increased a great deal. And as far as space, we are completely out of it.”
Hunt said she will miss the job, but plans to keep busy.
“There are a lot of things I want to do now that I couldn’t do if I continue to work,” she said. “A dedicated clerk has to be here at all times. I now have things I want to do outside of this office.”
Hunt said that some she wants to travel throughout the United States, garden, and work as a volunteer at Green Grove Elementary School where her daughter, Tracie, is a teacher.
Smith said Friday that she is “very excited” about becoming the clerk.
“It’s an honor and privilege to be considered for this position,” she said. “The clerk’s office is important because it supplies so much support for the legal system.”
Smith said as an attorney involved in general practice she has handled cases in all departments that are under the administrative supervision of the clerk.
“That’s served as a good foundation for me,” she said.