WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — When it comes time to lay the gavel down for the final time, Wichita County Justice of the Peace Precinct 1, Place 1, Janice Sons will have served for 31 and a half years, but not before hearing countless cases and marrying thousands of couples.
Sons still has a lot of energy but adds it’s time for someone younger and with more energy to take over. Plus, she has another big responsibility: taking care of family.
“Marriage is a sacred institution. It’s the basis of society.”
In one form or another, Justice of the Peace Janice Sons has spoken those words to more than 20,000 couples. However, marrying numerous couples a day and other judicial duties will come to an end in a few months, as she’ll be retiring on December 31.
Sons said there have been ups and downs throughout her career, yet if there’s one thing she’ll miss most, it’s all the people she’s met and worked with.
“And I like the challenge. I really do enjoy the challenge that the people bring to me,” Sons said.
Sons has seen a lot of change over her, what will be, 31 and a half years when she steps down. From a judicial standpoint, she explained what stood out to her most.
“Same-sex marriage. If two people love each other, who am I to make any decisions on that? Some throughout the state have said they would no longer do marriages. For me, if two people love each other, then that’s why I’m here,” Sons said.
Now, Sons has to be there as sole caregiver for her father, in his 90’s.
One of Judge Sons’ former colleagues, former Justice of the Peace, Precinct 1, Place 2, Mike Little, who worked with her for nearly a quarter-century, said though he knows this is something she needs to do, she will be missed.
“She is a very positive person and I think the county will definitely miss that,” Little said.
Following her last day, Sons said she plans on taking it easy. As to what’s next, she said she has no big plans in mind right now. Instead, she will trust in what she believes in and instills in those she marries.
“Faith: to go forward without knowing what the future will bring.”
Judge Sons’ term was set to expire in December 2020. As she’s retiring early, Wichita County Commissioners will have to appoint an interim justice of the peace until the election.
To watch the full interview with Janice Sons click here.