Stanly County Register of Deeds set to retire

Published 12:18 pm Monday, October 23, 2023

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The only woman to ever serve as register of deeds in Stanly County is retiring.

Suzanne Lowder has confirmed her intent to retire Oct. 31.

Suzanne Lowder

“It’s time to spend time with grandkids before they get grown,” she said.

Lowder, who began working for Cecil Almond in 1992 as assistant register of deeds, became register of deeds in 2008.

The last 15 years have included:

• preservation and digitization of records dating back to 1841;

• service to the North Carolina Association of Register of Deeds from 2016 to 2021 as historian, treasurer, secretary, second vice president, president-elect and president;

• creation of the “Thank You for Your Service” program to assist veterans;

• receiving the Seven Seals Award for meritorious leadership and initiative in support of the men and women who serve in the National Guard and Reserve;

• receiving the award for Outstanding Register of Deeds from the state association for 2020-2021; and

• receiving the N.C. Association of County Commissioners for Outstanding Register of Deeds.

“None of this would have been possible without my great staff (Jennifer Helms, Kaylan Roland, Debbie Whitley, Quinton Wainwright and Kelli Delia) who is like family,” Lowder said. “I know I’m leaving the office in good hands. I don’t feel bad about leaving at all because I know it will be taken care of.”

Stanly County Board of Elections Director Kimberly Blackwelder cited the state statute which references how to fill the register of deeds position.

“When a vacancy occurs from any cause in the office of register of deeds, the board of county commissioners shall fill such vacancy by the appointment of a successor for the unexpired term, who shall qualify and give bond as required by law,” the statute begins. “If the register of deeds was elected as the nominee of a political party, the board of county commissioners shall consult the county executive committee of that political party before filling the vacancy and shall appoint the person recommended by that committee, if the party makes a recommendation within 30 days of the occurrence of the vacancy.”

Lowder has recommended that Helms serve the remainder of Lowder’s term, which is up for election in 2024.

“Suzanne has done a great job for the county,” County Commission Chairman Scott Efird said. “I hate to see her go. I certainly wish her of the best.”

B.J. Drye is general manager/editor of The Stanly News & Press. Call 704-982-2123.