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Public officials reflect loss

Pike County didn’t just lose an elected official this weekend. It lost a friend.

“She was someone I called one of my best friends,” said Circuit Clerk Brenda Peacock, of her friend and co-worker Evelyn Morgan, chairman of the Pike County Board of Registrars.

Morgan, who has served as chairman for the last 12 years, died in a Dothan hospital Sunday, after she was hospitalized Friday from work.

It is without question the 80-year-old public servant has left the Pike County Courthouse with a void.

“I’ll miss her at the courthouse, and I’ll miss our friendship,” said Pike County Sheriff Russell Thomas.

Thomas, who has worked closely with Morgan during elections, said she has not only been a dear co-worker but a close friend, as well.

“I was close to Ms. Evelyn. She was a good friend,” Thomas said. “We talked a lot of ball. Her great grandson and my son played ball together. She was always very kind to me and always asked about my family.”

Thomas said Morgan, who has three children, nine grandchildren and fourteen great grandchildren, was a family-devoted lady.

“She loved her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren,” Thomas said.

Retired Probate Judge Bill Stone, who worked alongside Morgan for years during elections, said Morgan was one of the most dedicated workers he has known.

“She worked as hard as anyone I’ve ever known to do things right,” Stone said. “She was probably one of my closest business associates. She was very attentive to detail and was a very intelligent person.

“She is going to be sorely missed by Pike County and the folks that are charged with the elections.”

Even those who did not work as closely with Morgan said she was an integral part of the county’s service.

“I’ve always thought the world of Ms. Evelyn,” said County Administrator Harry Sanders. “She was a very important person in the county, as far as our elections are concerned and a very good person.”

Whether it was a time to laugh or a time to cry, Peacock said Morgan was someone she could always count on to listen.

“She was one of the finest ladies I’ve ever known,” Peacock said. “She was someone I could cry with, laugh with, always call her.”

And on Monday, it was a day many of Morgan’s loved ones shed tears.

“It’s a sad day. It’s a sickening feeling to know Ms. Evelyn’s passed away,” Thomas said.

With her vacant position, Gov. Bob Riley will now work to fill the seat with an appointment, said Riley’s press secretary Todd Stacy.

Stacy said the process will be similar to that of filling the probate judge seat, accepting applications and nominations.

The best way to apply, he said is on the Web site governor.alabama.gov.

Stacy said there is no timetable for filling the seat, but Riley will work quickly to find a replacement.

“Governor Riley likes to get vacancies filled as soon as possible because obviously the registrar is an important person for the county, but the most important thing is finding the right person,” Stacy said.

Morgan is survived by her three children, Roni Griffin, of Dothan, Doni Ingram, of Troy and Wanda Gardner, of Greenville. Her funeral was held Monday.