Sibylle Wolfe, 62, of Clinton, has been a fixture at the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office and courthouse for decades. Now she plans to retire at the end of this month.
Marilyn Huff, the Clinton County clerk of district court, is going to miss Sibylle, who used to work for her. Sibylle was one of the first people Huff hired after getting her job.
“She's just an all-around good worker,” Huff said.
She was born Sibylle Tode in Germany. She and her parents came to this country when she was 2 years old and she became a naturalized citizen when she was 5. Sibylle was raised in Cedar Rapids and moved to Clinton with her family when she was a teenager. Her father ran a lumber yard on Garfield Street. She graduated from Clinton High School.
Sibylle never thought she would be working in the justice system. She always wanted to be a school teacher and even attended two years of college for it. Then she met Matt Wolfe and they were married and had children, so she stayed at home. In 1978, Matt was injured at work and Sibylle needed to get a job. One of her neighbors was working as a matron in the county jail and told her there was a position available.
“It’s just one of those things that happened and I got hired,” Sibylle said.
Sibylle started at the sheriff’s office under Sheriff Gary Mulholland. Her first job was as a matron, putting females in the jail and acting as jailer. She had never been exposed to anything like this before. Shortly after starting at the sheriff’s office, Sibylle began working for the civil deputy.
“It was a really big, big learning experience for me,” Sibylle said. “But every learning experience makes you, gives you, better understanding of what people are going through.”
After eight years in the sheriff’s office, Sibylle was hired by Huff and started in the civil department. Huff said Sibylle is a great person who is really personable and pleasing to everyone. In July 1995, Sibylle moved to the court administration department, where she currently works as case coordinator.
“It was just kind of nice because I changed jobs often enough, yet within the same field basically, knew a lot of the same people,” Sibylle said.
Sibylle’s main duty is to run the court calendar, scheduling trials and hearings. She sends out notices and keeps the cases moving. County Attorney Mike Wolf said she seems to be able to juggle all of the cases and fixes problems in scheduling easily. He has worked with her for 14 years and feels she is “a true professional” and “just a true delight and joy to work with.”
“She has the most infectious smile and laugh that just brightens every day,” Wolf said.
He added he will dearly miss her.
Sibylle has enjoyed working with the attorneys, judges and staff, as well as the public. She said no one leaves court happy, but she tries to make it as good for them as possible.
“My philosophy is I always treat people the way I want to be treated. I hope I am a compassionate person and that I give understanding to the job and I’m kind to people,” Sibylle said. “But, ultimately I like to think that I’ve done some good somewhere.”
Sibylle will miss everyone when she retires at the end of this month. She has made many lasting friendships and has enjoyed working with the people at the courthouse.
“It's a family. We all work together. And every part has its place,” Sibylle.
Sibylle plans to spend more time with her husband, children and grandchildren. She also loves quilting, reading and the theater. She has been on the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre board for the past several years and plans to continue. While Sibylle will miss her work, she said it is time to go.
“There comes a time when you're kind of ready,” Sibylle said.