REED CITY — Many folks were quick to point out Marco Menezes still had a couple days to change his mind.

However, the retiring probate judge for Mecosta and Osceola counties laughed off the fact during his retirement luncheon on Wednesday, Sept. 28, at the 77th District Court in Osceola County.

After serving six-and-a-half years on the bench, Menezes told those in attendance it was a great honor for him to serve the people of the two counties.

“You can’t have a better job than being a judge in the two counties,” he said.

However, it will not be any specific case that Menezes will remember the most.

“I’ve enjoyed being the judge,” he said. “Not the work so much, but the people associated with it. The people you get to meet, the attorneys and the staff of both counties have been great.

“My successor will be hard pressed to be able to find a better crew to work with than what I have had.”

During the luncheon, Bruce Kilmer, regional administrator for the Supreme Court State Court Administrative Office, praised Menezes for his work not only in the courtroom but also in the community.

“I’m really glad I was able to work with you,” Kilmer said, as he presented a plaque to Menezes. “It’s been too short. You’ve shown in the short time on the bench everything we want to see in a judge; someone not solely focused on being a judge.

“He’s intelligent and has a great legal mind,” Kilmer said, addressing those in attendance. “However, that isn’t all he is, that’s not his whole identity. He’s had a great ability in the work he has done and how he has conducted himself in Osceola and Mecosta counties.”

State Sen. Darwin Booher, R-Evart, presented a proclamation to Menezes for his work on the bench, signed by himself, Sen. Judy Emmons, R-Sheridan, Rep. Phil Potvin, R-Cadillac, and Gov. Rick Snyder.

“It’s a real privilege to be here today to give special tribute to honor Marco Menezes,” Booher said. “It’s a real honor to be able to present this to Marco. While serving both Mecosta and Osceola counties, he has been an active member of the community, and that makes a difference.”

Menezes, who arrived in Hersey in 1975, told the folks he didn’t always see himself as a judge.

“I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go to law school,” he said. “It was a different time then.”

Menezes joked he may not be accepted as a native of Osceola County, but it has become home to him.

“I’ve found that the people I’ve worked with through the years, have been so welcoming,” he said. “It’s been an honor and privilege to be appointed out of Osceola County since the two courts were reorganized, and I hope that it continues. I’d like to see going forward the governor and voters of these two counties maintain the tradition of keeping one judge in Osceola County.

“Although I serve the two counties, my home and my heart are here in Osceola County.”

Snyder will make an appointment to fill the vacancy left by Menezes. Until a replacement is selected, the three remaining judges serving Mecosta and Osceola counties will handle the family and probate court matters.