Tuesday was a day of mixed emotions for many with the retirement of Waxahachie’s chief building inspector Sanford Smith.

City officials, friends, family members and others packed a reception at City Hall in recognition of Smith’s 25 years of service with the city.

“I definitely have mixed emotions,” an emotional Smith said. “I was married to my job. It was more than a job – it was like a family to me. It was stuck to me for years.

“But I will do my best to enjoy my retirement,” Smith said with a smile, even as he had tears in his eyes.

Smith joined the city Aug. 1, 1983, and found his departure bittersweet, with the well wishes mixed with a sadness.

“He will be one very missed man,” said Andrea Wood, his secretary of three years. “I will miss everything, but the one thing I will miss the most is his joking and kidding personality.”

Although he’ll be missed at the city, his friends and family are looking forward to enjoying his undivided attention.

Sunday school class pal Bobby Elmore, who is a retired city employee himself, said, “I enjoy Sanford’s friendship and we go way back. I enjoy our camping trips, fishing and, most of all, eating.”

Sanford’s wife, Janice, saidshe didn’t have any mixed emotions about her husband’s retirement. If anything, she said, she has “big plans” for him.

The couple said they are looking forward to traveling and visiting family, friends and grandchildren.

The one trip that will be “high on the list” is a cruise they said they are both looking forward to doing.

E-mail Stacy at stacy.gilliam@wninews.com