On Sunday, Sumter said goodbye to one of its long-serving civil servants, Verna B. Moore, former Sumter County coroner.
Moore, who was 91 when she passed away, stepped down as coroner almost nine years ago.
Moore was first elected coroner in …
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Moore was first elected coroner in 1993 after serving the county as deputy coroner for 18 years. In total, she dedicated 32 years to investigating deaths in Sumter County.
Her last day as coroner was on Jan. 5, 2009, at the age of 82.
Moore was known as a coroner who made a point to empathize with the families of the deceased and put their emotions before her own. And she is remembered as a person who worked hard to protect those she was elected to serve.
Demma Truell, former deputy coroner who worked with Moore for nearly 14 years, said Moore worked hard to protect the victims, their families and the taxpayers.
Some people did not understand Moore because she had to be hard in order to do her job, Truell said. They didn't understand that she had to be strong, she said.
Moore was not hard to work with, but she had to be tough during a time when it was difficult for women in her position, she said.
She did her job with authority and grace so that people knew that she truly cared, Truell said.
Moore was on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and she was always on her toes, she said. And she very seldom took a day off, she said.
Truell said she does not admire many people, but she does admire Moore.
"She truly was a wonderful person. She truly was," Truell said.
Moore was definitely an advocate for the folks who passed away, Sumter Emergency Medical Services Director Bobby Hingst said.
For about seven years, Hingst worked closely with Moore when she was sometimes asked to respond to the scenes of emergency calls.
"We are thankful for the services she provided and were sad to hear of her passing," he said.
If she suspected foul play, she would work continuously to seek justice, Hingst said.
He said Moore was very thorough and passionate about her duties as coroner and always worked to the best of her abilities.
Hingst said Moore's age also spoke volumes about her passion for serving the community. You don't see many coroners still in office in their eighties, he said.
As coroner, a person has to be ready to respond to calls at any time of the day, and that really showed her commitment at the age of 82, he said.
Hingst said he and his staff send their condolences to Moore's family.
"We will greatly miss her," he said.
Patty Patterson, former chief of police, said Moore was a professional who also had a good sense of humor.
She said the police department developed a good rapport with Moore, which made it easier to respond to death scenes together.
Patterson said she and Moore worked together for about 30 years and also served on multiple committees together.
"She served the citizens well," she said. "Our sympathies go out to her family."
"We were saddened to learn (Tuesday) morning of the death of former Sumter County Coroner Verna Moore," Sumter County Sheriff Anthony Dennis said.
Dennis said he and his staff worked closely with Moore during the many years she served the county as assistant coroner and then as coroner.
"Her passing leaves a void that may never be filled. My sincere condolences and those of everyone with the Sumter County Sheriff's Office go out to her family," he said.
A funeral service for Moore is scheduled for Sunday at Elmore Hill McCreight Funeral Home.
- Adrienne Sarvis
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