EAGLE RIVER, Mich. (WLUC) - Richard Thomas started as the Keweenaw County Courthouse’s custodian in the 1980s and was recommended by the county clerk to go for the open magistrate position.
"At that time I said 'Are you crazy or what?' but I figured I better try it even though I might end up regretting it. I put my name in the hat and I got it and then the rest is history," said Thomas.
Thomas spent 32 years as both magistrate and custodian for the courthouse and was regarded as a very hard and passionate worker.
"As magistrate, we would bug him at 3 in the morning. We'd call him up to sign search warrants or arrest warrants and he was always willing to show up and help us out. He did a great job," said Ron Lahti, former Keweenaw County Sheriff.
Thomas was also loved by all of the people he worked with, and was always ready to lend a helping hand.
"He's just one of those guys that was just solid, honest, does a good job, is conscientious, and cares about the people he works for," said Lahti
Thomas is looking forward to putting more work into his house during his retirement and traveling to new areas with his wife, however, he says he will miss his time at the Keweenaw County Courthouse.
"I'm forever grateful for everything that they've done for me, and I'll surely miss the people at the courthouse here that I worked with, they mean a lot to me. It's a good happy moment in a sense, but it's sad, too," said Thomas.