Mildred A. Deacon, 91, of Westampton, who retired in 1993 as chief clerk for what is now the Burlington County Department of Finance and Administration, died Tuesday, Nov. 17, at a family residence in Springfield Township.

Eve Cullinan, the Burlington County administrator, said that while she did not know Ms. Deacon personally, others in the office recalled her "as a very dedicated and hard worker.

"Her service was well appreciated over the years," Cullinan said.

That service covered parts of five decades. County records show that Ms. Deacon was hired on Nov. 9, 1953, and retired on April 1, 1993.

Born in Westampton, she graduated from what is now Rancocas Valley Regional High School as valedictorian of the Class of 1943. Ms. Deacon studied at what is now Peirce College in Philadelphia, earning credit as an "excellent bookkeeper," a niece, Judy Gaunt, said.

"She was a straight-A student and loved mathematics," Gaunt said, but "back in the day, all of the positions were bookkeeper."

So when county administrators saw her graduate with high honors from high school, they asked her father: "What is your brilliant daughter doing to do? Would you let us know?"

And so, the county sent her to Peirce because "she was a great worker, smart, and articulate," Gaunt said.

Ms. Deacon worked for the Burlington County Farmers Co-Op in Mount Holly before joining the county workforce.

"It had pretty much everything you need to feed your animals," Gaunt said, "back when there were 400 dairy farmers in Burlington and Gloucester Counties."

Besides Gaunt, Ms. Deacon is survived by nieces and nephews.

Funeral services took place on Monday, Nov. 23.

Donations may be sent to Burlington County Animal Shelter, 19 Pioneer Blvd., Westampton, N.J. 08060.

Condolences may be offered to the family at www.perinchief.com.

610-313-8134@WNaedele