Friends, co-workers and husband, William, gathered in a back room of the courthouse Thursday afternoon to wish Kay Bunch, longtime Carson City marriage clerk, farewell.
"We hate to see her leave," said boss Alan Glover, city clerk-recorder. "Kay's been great. Marriage is good economically for the city; we figure people will want to come to Carson City to get married because of our friendly, quality service. Kay definitely personified that."
After issuing, by her own estimations, some 9,000 marriage licenses, Bunch says she's gotten to know that certain hopeless look of love in the eyes of the couples who've appeared at the license counter over the years.
Her favorite memories include issuing a license to Bing Crosby's ex-wife Catherine and one to a man who pulled up in a limousine, quickly got out and walked around to open the door for his beloved.
"He got on his knee and proposed right there," said Bunch. "I thought that was just so sweet."
Among those present at the send-off were Dorothy Smith and Frances Conner, two marriage bureau veterans who shared some advice from the other side of retirement.
"You should travel" suggested Conner.
"Nah!" said Smith. "Stay home and enjoy it."
Bunch already has plans, including throwing a surprise party, attending her granddaughter's wedding and going on an Alaskan cruise.
Whatever Bunch learned about marriage from her job, she seems to have brought a lot of it from home.
Bunch and her and husband, William, have been married for 44 years.
- Contact reporter Peter Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org .