Judge, clerk pass away overnight

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 5, 2005

It was business as usual at the Mills W. Godwin Courts Complex on Thursday.

But the atmosphere was somber as employees, some a little choked up or swiping at an occasional tear, mourned the loss of two longtime fixtures in the courthouse: General District Court Judge G. Blair Harry and Mary Reid, deputy clerk in the Suffolk Circuit Court Clerk’s office.

Both Harry, 62, and Reid, 56, lost their respective battles to cancer overnight Wednesday.

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After several decades practicing law in Suffolk, Harry was appointed by the General Assembly to serve as a general district judge for the Fifth Judicial District in 1990. He had been reappointed twice, going on leave in recent weeks due to his illness.

Reid, who handled the circuit court’s chancery and probate issues for the past 26 years, will be sorely missed, said her coworkers.

&uot;Mary was a valued member of the staff,&uot; said Clerk of Court Randy Carter. &uot;She was very knowledgeable and it showed in every task she approached.&uot;

&uot;She has left big shoes to fill,&uot; he said. &uot;We’ll find someone else but we won’t be able to replace her.&uot;

Deputy Clerk Eula Williams, who worked with Reid throughout her career, agreed.

Recently, Reid would sometimes get a little emotional after dealing with some judiciary matters dealing with the deceased.

&uot;Sometimes she would have tears in her eyes,&uot; Williams said. &uot;I think things bothered her sometimes, maybe because of her own illness.&uot;

But even from the hospital bed, Reid kept a positive attitude, said Deputy Clerk Regina Derby.

&uot;She was a good person…who was always dedicated to her work,&uot; Derby said. &uot;When I talked to her Monday, we talked about going shopping and out to dinner at Kincaid’s Chop House. We both loved to eat out at fancy restaurants.&uot;

Although work went on Thursday, a cloud of melancholy shrouded the office.

&uot;A lot of people have worked in this office for a long time and people are very much like family here,&uot; Carter said.

&uot;And when something like this happens to a family, there is a lot of sadness.&uot;