MANNING - Charles "Bucky" Mock Jr. was sworn in Wednesday morning as Clarendon County coroner to replace Hayes F. Samuels Jr., who died in late January during the second year of his fourth term as Clarendon County coroner.
On Feb. 21, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster appointed Mock to serve as Clarendon County coroner immediately until the next general election, which is slated for November 2018.
"(Samuels') are big shoes to fill," Mock said Wednesday after the swearing-in ceremony which was presided over by Third Circuit Court Judge R. Ferrell Cothran Jr. "Hayes did a wonderful job as coroner. He was respected by his peers and his community. He was a consummate professional."
Mock said Samuels' compassion and caring for those he served were qualities Mock said he hoped to continue to provide.
"Hayes was there for the families who lost loved ones," Mock said. "He made sure their questions were answered and their needs were met."
Mock, who is a survivor of multiple myeloma, said he hopes the people he meets aren't offended when he doesn't shake their hands.
"I'm a cancer survivor," he added. "I've learned instead of shaking hands to do a fist bump. You don't spread as many germs that way. When I was in Puerto Rico recently helping with medical needs after the recent hurricanes there, the surgeon general of the United States was greeting the volunteers and reached out his hand to shake. I put out my fist, and we did a fist bump instead. If he wasn't offended, I hope others aren't either."
Mock said he was excited that Charles H. Jackson and Albert Mobley are joining his staff as deputy coroners.
"We worked together under Hayes as deputy coroners," Mock shared. "We work well together and share the same work ethics."
Mock, who has been working in the medical field as a nurse since 1979 and a deputy coroner for more than 21 years, said he's acquired knowledge in the field that will bring an added insight into his job as coroner.
"I've seen just about everything," he said. "I've worked all of my life in the medical field as a forensics nurse. I've worked in emergency rooms, as a first responder and as a deputy coroner. I've learned to question the obvious."
Jackson is no newcomer to the job of deputy coroner. He has served in that position for more than 20 years, working under the late Ranny Stephens and his successor, Samuels.
"I've been in the job for a long time," Jackson said Wednesday morning. "I look forward to working with Bucky and Albert."
Mobley has been a deputy coroner for almost a year working for the late Samuels.
"I've learned a lot in a short time," Mobley added. "Mr. Samuels was a great teacher."
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