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Picture Box: Marriage Commissioner

A little less than 20 years ago Joanna Kaera McClure, 83, was living life in retirement when she was approached by a friend who was a marriage commissioner. This friend asked her to think about becoming a marriage commissioner herself. The friend told McClure just how much fun the job would be, and once San Francisco City Hall called with the need of someone to fill in as a substitute marriage commissioner McClure stepped forward and never looked back. “It is forever joyous, there’s that moment of joy and connection with whoever you are marrying. It is a wonderful thing.” said McClure. Before working as a marriage commissioner exclusively McClure used to also work in grief support groups where she would help people who experienced loss. When she would finish the group sessions, she would make her way to City Hall to perform weddings, “It was a nice balance between the two.” said McClure. That balance allowed McClure to perform weddings every Wednesday. She now works a shorter schedule “because now I am older.” said McClure. Her most memorable wedding was when a couple from Tibet gave a her a scarf as a gift for performing their ceremony. (Michael Ares/Special to the S.F. Examiner)

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Marriage Commissioner Joanna Kaera McClure waits at her desk for the next couple to arrive inside the San Francisco City Hall on Wednesday, July 22, 2015. (Michael Ares/Special to the S.F. Examiner)