Mary Zimmerman, in her nearly 22 years at the Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office, worked for four different sheriffs and too many deputies and dispatchers to count, both past and present.


Mary Zimmerman, in her nearly 22 years at the Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office, worked for four different sheriffs and too many deputies and dispatchers to count, both past and present.

This week, the longtime administrative assistant to the sheriff said good-bye to all of them during a retirement party in her honor at the Pottawatomie County courthouse.

“We think a lot of Mary — this is her special day to enjoy the new chapter in her life,” said Sheriff Mike Booth, adding that Zimmerman and her husband, Fred, will have time to enjoy fishing and take a cruise. Booth presented her with a plaque praising her for helping the deputies at the sheriff’s office be a better team and family.

Zimmerman worked as the administrative assistant to Booth and three other past sheriffs. Former Sheriffs Kurt Shirey, Weldon Cantrell and Bud Davis were among the crowd there to wish her well.

When Zimmerman spoke, a flood of emotions made her teary-eyed as she thanked many who helped her in her career.

Starting first in Tecumseh as a dispatcher, she worked midnight shifts, all while raising a young son at the time. She said she made it through her career with support of her family.

“Without help from my sister taking care of my son, I would have never made it,” she said.

She had a chance to move to the sheriff’s office to work in the civil process department when Davis hired her to work day shifts, she said, which gave her more time to be with her son. She later became the administrative assistant for the sheriff.
When Cantrell became sheriff, she stayed on nine more years, and then Shirey became sheriff.

“He had known me a long time so I didn’t know if I was staying a lot,” she laughed.
She thanked all four sheriffs for giving her this chance at a law enforcement career.
Cantrell said keeping the sheriff’s office accounting books is a big job that Zimmerman did well.

“When she took over the books, she kept me outta hot water,” Cantrell said, adding she gets a big hand for her work, which evoked applause.

Shirey, with a laugh, told the crowd that when he took office, Cantrell advised him to keep Zimmerman and “pay her whatever she asks.” Shirey agreed Zimmerman did a good job with the sheriff’s office finances.

“When it comes down to dollars and cents, you’re in trouble without someone like Mary,” Shirey added.

Deputies, county employees and others joined in the celebration to wish Zimmerman well.