Retired St. Clair County Probate Judge Wallace Wyatt, Jr. was honored with a reception and portrait presentation last Sunday at the courthouse in Pell City.

“Wallace Wyatt, Jr. is the best example of a public servant I have ever known,” said retired circuit court judge and current Pell City mayor, Bill Hereford.

For 20 years Wyatt served as St. Clair County’s probate judge and was known for his hands on approach to his job. “It was not unusual to see Wallace, behind the counter helping people with tags or whatever there need might be,” said Hereford, “He knew his job as well as everyone else’s and was always eager to offer a hand.”

Longtime St. Clair resident and civic leader Dick Whatley said of Wyatt, “He was the best probate judge this county has ever had.” Whatley backs up his claim by pointing to the many innovations Wyatt brought to his job such as, motor-voter registration, eye-bank participation and also his great compassion when working with adoption cases.

The portrait of Wyatt will hang at the St. Clair County Courthouse in Pell City, opposite the probate judge’s office.

“The portrait is outstanding,” said Hereford. The painting of Wyatt is by Springville artist Linda Ellen Price.

Price has said that, “Painting the portrait is an exciting experience. Getting a good likeness of the subject is imperative. Learning the interests and personality of the person you are painting is helpful in deciding how best to depict the subject. Of all varieties of painting, the portrait is, I think, the most challenging.”

At the unveiling reception approximately 200 friends and family were in attendance.

“The event was well attended in spite of the bad weather,” said Whatley.

The idea of the portrait was the brainchild of long time colleague Terri Thornton and friend Sara Beth Blair. Together with Bill Hereford, Paula Hereford, Dick Whatley and Byron and Barbara Fincher the funds for the painting were raised by the Friends of Wallace Wyatt.

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