Deserving Honor For Special County Employee

Long-time Harrison County employee Franz Blanchard thought the big party was for another employee who is also celebrating a birthday. He humbly says the party was much ado about nothing.

"I didn't deserve it really. Just say Happy Birthday to me that would have been okay by me,"Blanchard said.

Loyal and kind are words the courthouse crowd uses to describe Franz. Supervisors' President William Martin presented him with a plaque honoring his 22 years of employment. But that wasn't all the nice gifts. Franz rides a bike to work everyday from his Gulfport apartment, so everyone chipped in to buy him a new one.

His friends say he is deserving of all the recognition.

"Franz never complains, he's always here. I get here early and he always beats me. Sometimes I'm here at 7:30 in the morning and I've never beaten him here," Sheriff's Deputy Tom Johnston said.

Franz's many friends say his upbeat personality is contagious.

"Franz never seems to have a bad day. Every time he finds somebody that's got a problem he goes over and talks to them and makes them feel good. Everybody loves Franz cause when they feel bad they go to see Franz and Franz makes them feel good," former Chancery Clerk Nicky Creel said.

"He's always very helpful and never says no when you ask him something so he's really a joy to work with," employee Claudine Forbes said.

Everyone says Franz is a true inspiration to others.