Surrounded by family, friends, colleagues and co-workers, Bill McLaughlin ended his career as a Carter County Commissioner in style Thursday afternoon. A reception in the courthouse annex was standing room only as people from as far away as Garvin County made their way to wish McLaughlin well in his retirement.

"It means everything to us," Bill McLaughlin's wife Kathy McLaughlin said. "It shows how much people love him, care for him and are thankful for all that he has done. I just want to thank everybody for their support and caring at this time, when he needed it the most. We are thankful for people being there for him the way he was there for them. The family appreciates everything that has been done."

McLaughlin presented his retirement letter during the commissioner meeting on Monday, citing health reasons. At the beginning of the reception, McLaughlin was awarded a plaque and a slide show was played throughout the reception honoring his service.

"It was a wonderful turnout," Commissioner Kevin Robinson said. "I think he is ready to retire and he was proud he got some time to meditate on that. I think the turnout shows how good of a person he is. He is a people person and he is appreciated."

Included in the crowd were elected officials and fellow county commissioners from throughout the area, many of whom stayed the length of the two-hour reception.

"I just appreciate everybody showing support for Bill and all the things he does," Commissioner Dale Ott, said. "I hope he enjoys his retirement and has time to watch a lot of NASCAR."

All those that showed up signed a banner that spanned the length of a table. By the end of the reception, finding a spot to write on began to prove difficult as the banner filled up with numerous messages. Those actions left the family appreciative as McLaughlin left his elected position on a high note.

"We are happy that everybody came and showed their support," Angie McBride, McLaughlin's daughter said.

See our "Seen on Scene" photo gallery on this website.