Local News

April 8, 2013

Coroner Bobbie Dixon has shown her concern for families in aftermath of death for 20 years

Editor’s note: This is the first in a three-part series about “The Class of ’93,” three Whitfield County officials who were first elected in 1992 and have since been re-elected five times — Coroner Bobbie Dixon, Sheriff Scott Chitwood and Tax Commissioner Danny Sane. Today’s segment focuses on Coroner Dixon.

 

When Bobbie Dixon’s phone rings, she knows death could be waiting on the other end.

As Whitfield County coroner since 1993, Dixon has investigated so many deaths that the reports fill up seven file cabinets in her modest office on Walnut Avenue.

Even though she is in her sixth — and what she says will be her final — term of office, Dixon still approaches her job with the same caring attitude that’s made her so popular with local voters.

She says “they try to teach us” in coroner school how to deal with death emotionally on a 24/7/365 basis, but some things can’t be taught. They have to be learned through real life experience.

“I lost my husband five years ago … soon to be six,” Dixon says. “Before that, I thought I could really sympathize with people, say, ladies losing their husbands. But I didn’t even know what I was talking about!

“I know now,” she says, pausing to put emphasis on the words, “what it’s like to lose a husband, and I can really relate to these ladies because I’ve been there, done that.”

Such compassion makes Dixon an ideal fit for her job because she frequently sees people on some of the darkest days of their lives.

“If I can help one person during a death,” she says, “then when I get home, I feel good about it because I’ve been there for somebody. I stay longer at a lot of cases than I’m actually required to because I try to stay there with the family till they kinda get settled down and get back down to themselves. It helps to have somebody to talk to, and I’m there for them if they want to talk to me.”

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