Long-time Clark County servant Charla Hilton retires as Deputy Clerk

Published 10:00 am Saturday, May 13, 2023

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Retirement at one point seemed so far away for Clark County Circuit Court Deputy Clerk Charla Hilton.

Recently, it became a reality.

On Friday, April 28, Hilton celebrated her retirement at the James Clark Judicial Center on Cleveland Avenue with friends, coworkers and more.

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“I’m really, really excited,” Hilton said. “I’m getting ready to start a second chapter of my life.”

For Hilton, work started in 1988 when she was associated with the currently-named Kentucky Tourism, Arts, and Heritage Cabinet, with a particular emphasis on tourism.

There, she made several acquaintances, many of whom made sure to attend the ceremony.

Among them was Charlie Baglan, who worked at the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources then.

Though they stayed close, Baglan expressed that envisioning them at a retirement ceremony was far away.

“I never thought about it. The year 2023 was just a blur in 1993,” he said. “We’ve been friends ever since, and I assume we will always be.”

Staying close to long-time friends has been a cornerstone for Hilton.

Doug Burgess, also present at the celebration, has known her since childhood.

“We met when we went to church camp, and then we reconnected, I think when we were in high school,” Burgess said. “She’s one of those people that other people are just naturally attracted to [because of] her personality, her smile, [and] her warmth. She doesn’t do anything halfway. She cares about it all…she’s been a very special friend.”

When her time in Frankfort was complete, Hilton taught for some time, followed by her first experience in a Circuit Clerk’s office in Lexington.

She soon moved to Winchester, where she has been ever since.

Reflecting on time spent, Hilton notes one significant change over the years has been in the technology field.

“[There are] a lot more computers than when I first started in ‘88. With the Tourism Cabinet, everything was typewriter” she said. “That’s a big difference. The technology has changed a lot.”

Along with her work, one of the aspects Hilton is most proud of is how the office has helped serve and continues serving the area.

Specifically, she thinks of bringing the Trust For Life 5K event to Winchester which helped raise awareness and support for organ donation.

“We did the 5K for three years, and the first year we made nearly forty-thousand dollars,” Hilton said. “This county donated everything from coffee to food to prizes. It was wonderful. This county just really stood behind everything we were doing.”

The Circuit Court recently continued its efforts to celebrate April’s National Donate Life Month by flying a Donate 4 Life Flag outside the James Clark Judicial Center.

With those in attendance enjoying cake and other treats, Hilton was asked what she would miss the most.

Her answer was quick and without hesitation, as she named current Clark County Circuit Court Clerk and long-time coworker Martha Miller.

“I’ve worked with Martha since I’ve been here,” Hilton said. “I’ve known Martha for a long, long time, and Martha’s like family.”

With her days as the Clark County Circuit Court Deputy Clerk behind her, Hilton’s youthful interests will keep her busy.

“I’m going to be painting and doing freelance writing and doing some photography,” she said. “I studied art and English when I was in college. I’m going to be doing what I really love.”