Woman retires after 41 years at Lee County Sheriff’s Office

Published: June 25, 2021 4:40 PM EDT
Updated: June 25, 2021 8:00 PM EDT

After 41 years of working with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Cheryl Carruthers has retired. She is the longest working employee in LCSO’s Communications Division.

All it takes is one call. Carruthers received that call from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office 41 years ago offering her a job. “Been here since 1979, and this is my last day on the job,” she said.

For Cheryl, walking through the doors was never just about getting a paycheck. In her words, “It’s about putting your heart and soul and compassion into what you do.”

Even on her days off, Cheryl would come in to be that voice that comforts someone calling the sheriff’s office for help.

“This is more than a job; I’m here to serve Lee County,” Carruthers said. “I may be a switchboard operator, but I’m more than that.”

Cheryl is a treasured friend and co-worker who has earned her retirement. On Friday, she scanned her badge and walked the halls for the very last time.

“Bittersweet. It hit me this morning before I came into work that I’m going to be entering those gates one last time,” Carruthers said.

She said she’s ready to do something new with her life. “I never thought I ‘d wake up one morning and say, ‘That’s it; I’m going to retire,’ and well now, it’s here, and this morning it hit me,” Carruthers said.

Her last goodbye proved to be the most difficult for her.

“It’s hard to leave something that you love,” she said.

So you may be wondering what that new thing Cheryl wants to do is. She says she wants to visit family and friends and go back to being a clown.

Being a clown was something Carruthers did for a few years so she could care for her daughters.