78 Photo Essay: Suzie Odom

Words by Suzie Walton | Image by Blakeney Clouse

After a climb up to the Walker County Courthouse and an ascent to the second floor, Suzie Odom sits among the walls and records of the Circuit Clerk’s office. At a mere 5 feet 3 inches, she commands calm in the midst of what could become chaos. She is a powerful presence with a purpose to uphold the law. 

The smell of old files permeates her office as Suzie smiles from her large wooden desk. Surrounded by leather-bound books and photographs of her grandchildren, she pats two books lying on the desk’s smooth top. “These are my books,” she says confidently. 

One is the King James Bible; the other is The Code of Alabama

“Those two books guide me daily because people elected me to do what’s right,” she says. “Usually people come in to the Circuit Clerk’s office angry, so I feel a strong sense to help them.” 

Suzie credits God for what she does and expresses thankfulness for such a tremendous staff. “I had a secure job I gave up to run for circuit clerk. It was risky, but God led me on this 13-year journey here. One person can’t do this job; it takes our entire office to get through the hard times, especially when people are angry. It takes prayer to get through the tougher days.”

She admits there’s never a boring day in the clerk’s office and that each new day brings challenges. And though her frame may be small, Suzie, now in her third term, is a pillar of strength. Her passion for fairness and the law continues to grow. 

“I love this job,” she says. “I love making sure everything is done right.” 78

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