On Nov. 8, Sandra Lunceford was honored during the Bluffton town council meeting for her 26 years of service as town clerk. She retired Oct. 20.

After working with a parade of town leaders and keeping track of every document, Lunceford knows where the proverbial “bodies are buried,” that information only those inside an organization would know.

But she wouldn’t give up any details. When asked, she answered with her usual twinkle, “What’s it worth to you?”

In a press release announcing the ceremony, Mayor Lisa Sulka noted the town was just one square mile with 700 residents when Lunceford began her job.

“Today, it is about 54 square miles with an estimated population of 19,000,” Sulka said, adding that over the course of 26 years, Lunceford filed thousands of documents that detailed the history of Bluffton.

The former town clerk, who also handled court, business licenses and human resources, worked with five mayors, five managers and dozens of town council members.

Current Town Manager Marc Orlando said she will be missed. “If there is anyone who made you feel at home at Town Hall, that is Sandra,” Orlando said. “Sandra has a deep love for Bluffton and it showed in her daily dedication to her job and her colleagues.”

Many of those former colleagues were in attendance at the presentation and, as she tried to leave Town Hall after the ceremony, several left the council chambers to bid her farewell with hugs and thanks.

The town’s appreciation was summed up in the proclamation read by the mayor and presented to Lunceford at the beginning of the council meeting. The document read in part, “Sandra has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to the citizens, Mayors and Council members, and fellow employees while always having a smile on her face and being very well known for her perpetual habit of saying YES to any request made of her.”

The one memory Sandra Lunceford is taking with her is everyone working hard together. “We’re just like a family here and it’s been good,” Lunceford said. “I wouldn’t have been here as long as I have been if I hadn’t enjoyed it, because I’ve had other job offers.

Gwyneth J. Saunders is a veteran journalist and freelance writer living in Bluffton.