Bailiff Manages Courtroom at 98 Years Old
On a busy morning at Parma Municipal Court, Bailiff Michael Zaderecky doesn’t miss a beat.
Lawyers are constantly coming up to him and asking questions during court proceedings. He’s also working with the judge to move defendants along as quickly and thoroughly as possible.
It’s hard to believe that Zaderecky is 98 years old. Zaderecky has worked as a part-time bailiff at the court for about 35 years. This is after he retired as a building inspector at the age of 62.
“I’ve worked for just about every judge that was ever here,” Zaderecky said.
After a while, he started working for Judge Kenneth Spanagel when the judge’s former bailiff became sick.
“I came in and filled in,” he said.
The bailiff later died from his health issues.
“So I inherited the job, and I’ve been here ever since,” Zaderecky said.
“We call him Uncle Mikey,” Judge Spanagel said.
He’s friendly like an uncle – as long as a cell phone doesn’t go off in the courtroom.
Zaderecky said he has no plans to retire from the court.
“Why do I still work? Well, I like it,” Zaderecky said. “It’s interesting, OK? And besides that I tried retirement, and there’s only so many beer joints you could go into, so many books you can read, before you got bored, and so I prefer this to anything else.”
So Zaderecky continues to help run Courtroom 3 with Judge Spanagel. The judge said Zaderecky always shows up early and doesn’t leave until everything is finished.
“One of the things about being older, being active is one of the reasons that you have a good life,” Judge Spanagel said. “I’ve always said to him, ‘You know you’ll tell me if you don’t want to do this job anymore or I’ll tell you the point of I don’t need you.’ I don’t not need him. I still need him but at the point where he thinks he cannot do it, he’ll tell me.”
That’s something his coworkers find encouraging.
“You can ask people around the building and everybody just loves his presence,” Judge Spanagel said.
And those people are who make getting up in the morning worth it to Zaderecky
“I love the people I work with, OK? I think that’s what keeps me coming in here,” he said.
“We look to have a 100th birthday party with Mike still working bailiff in about 22 months,” Judge Spanagel said.