Barnes retires

Published 11:51 am Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Abigail Barnes, of Lunenburg, who served as a probation officer and deputy chief for the Virginia Department of Corrections (VDOC) office, retired Dec. 1.

Circuit Court Clerk Gordon Erby said he has known Barnes since he took on the clerk position in 1997.

Erby said he valued Barnes’ work ethic, as the circuit court office and VDOC have worked together, and he said that the circuit court office has missed her following her retirement.

“She is the most outstanding probation officer that I have ever seen operate,” Erby said, “and I wish that all governmental employees would have the persistence, commitment (and) dedication that Abigail represented in her job.”

“It’s a loss for the Commonwealth of Virginia for her retirement,” Erby said.

Erby said Barnes has lived in Lunenburg for most of her life.

“She was born and raised here,” Erby said, noting her family had operated Barnes Manufacturing, a lumberyard in the Town of Kenbridge.

“Excellent people,” Erby said.

Janice Harris, chief supervisor at the South Hill VDOC office, said Barnes has worked in her Deputy Chief Probation and Parole Officer position for 27 years, supervising operations in the district office.

She noted Barnes’ knowledge and sensitivity in working with co-workers and also in working with cases for people who have had mental health issues.

“Ms. Barnes was a dedicated and committed, hardworking individual who took her job very seriously, and she prided herself on staying informed,” Harris said, noting that she would keep up-to-date on various policy changes within the department and let others in the office know about them. “She was very approachable and easy to get along with in terms of with the staff and in the community.”

Harris said she worked with area commonwealth’s attorneys and police departments.

“If you asked her a question, she was very knowledgeable, and if she didn’t know the answer, she would find it and get back with you,” Harris said.