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Saturday, Apr. 19, 2014

Bohnenkamp trades legal work for retirement

Thursday, August 9, 2012

(Photo)
Kay Bohnenkamp says she plans to do more cooking, a favorite hobby, since retiring from the Plymouth County Attorney's Office last week. Bohnenkamp has been a paralegal in the office for 19 years.
For the last 19 years Kay Bohnenkamp has assisted Plymouth County attorneys on juvenile, criminal and civil court cases.

Last week the Remsen woman retired from her paralegal position, choosing to spend more time with family, helping at home and enjoying favorite pastimes.

"My mother's in the nursing home here (in Remsen) and I'm going to spend more time with her," Bohnenkamp said. "She's having a hard time with Alzheimer's."

Bohnenkamp said she also wants to help her husband, Roger, on the farm, noting that she plans to cook for liquid manure haulers this fall.

She's also looking forward to having more time for experimenting with recipes, Bohnenkamp said.

"I love to cook," she added. "My daughter has a wheat allergy. I will be looking for recipes that taste good and won't make her sick."

As for leaving the attorney's office, Bohnenkamp said she will miss her colleagues and others in the courthouse.

She also appreciated the variety her job offered, Bohnenkamp said.

"It was never boring," she said. "It was nice knowing you did what you could."

It was also difficult to see people in the sad situations she witnessed throughout the years, Bohnenkamp said.

"You see everybody at their worst, but there were success stories," she said. "Even criminals could turn around, that was nice to see."

Throughout her 19 years in the attorney's office, Bohnenkamp said she saw a lot of changes, especially in technology.

When she first started, technology meant a telephone, a second-hand typewriter and paper court documents, she said.

Several years later, computers were added including an operating system that digitalized the court documents, Bohnenkamp said.

"That was hard. You didn't have a file with a person's name on it," she said. "You had to trust it."

That paperless aspect was advanced even further when the county implemented the Electronic Data Management System (EDMS), a couple years ago, Bohnenkamp said.

That system enables electronic filing and online access for all court documents and files.

Bohnenkamp said the changes in technology were "just huge" and that it was fun to have been part of the process.

Even though Bohnenkamp's looking forward to retirement, she said it will be hard to not know what's going on in the county.

"I heard there was a shooting in Plymouth County. I had to read about it on my phone," she said, referring to a recent incident where gunshots were fired from a moving vehicle at bicyclists.

"It's weird because I won't be in there working on it," Bohnenkamp said.

Darin Raymond, county attorney, called Bohnenkamp the "juvenile court expert" in the county attorney's office and commended her work with juvenile cases.

"It's very technical, very procedural, probably one of the most difficult documents to learn because of all the peculiarities," he said. "It doesn't fit any other area of law."

Raymond shared Bohnenkamp's successes with the county board of supervisors on her last day of employment, July 31.

He estimated her juvenile court work had affected more than 1,000 families and a couple thousand children in the last 19 years.

Raymond said Bohnenkamp's dedication and that of the other staff allows for good outcomes in the county attorney's office.

"It does take a fair amount of investment and involvement," he said. "Kay has really exemplified that."



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