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Heroes among us

By Leon Jones, Macon-Bibb County chief coroner
Photography by Matt Odom

Why are you driven to your work?
I have been in the coroner’s office for 30 years. Being coroner to me is like a ministry. I was called by God to do this job. I love helping people; that’s the way I was raised. My children were raised the same way. Any time I can do anything for anybody, I will do it without hesitation. My mother taught me to love all people and to help people regardless of their skin color, gender, sexual preference or political party. I don’t do things for recognition. I do things because it’s God’s will; it’s in the Bible to help people.

What could people do to make your job easier?
For people to have a will or some type of funeral compensation, such as insurance or a paid-up pre-need.

What makes you feel appreciated?
Nothing. I don’t do things for this community for recognition. I do it because it’s God’s will.

What do you want more people to know about your work?
I work with a lot of divisive families.

What lessons have been a take-away from working through the COVID-19 pandemic?
You must assume that every deceased person that you deal with is COVID positive.

When you wake up in the night, what do you think about?
How blessed I am that I woke up.

What makes you get out of bed in the morning?
Knowing that I am going to help a person, a family or a funeral home.

If I had more time, I would: Give seminars on the importance of having some insurance, burial plan and a will. And the importance of seeking togetherness during the loss of a loved one instead of divisiveness.

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