For the past 40 years, one Adams County man has made it his life's work to make sure the living can say goodbye --
"To me, it does not get any easier. Sometimes I feel it's the first time I'm delivering a message, you just don't get used to it what-so-ever," said Hamilton.
Now... he's the one saying good-bye to that job.
Adams County Coroner Gary Hamilton announced his retirement last week.
He was appointed to office in 1997 after the sudden death of coroner Chris Boyer.
Since then, he has been re-elected to office.
We sat down with him Saturday to find out what the future holds for him and his position.
"I've spoken with County Board President Mike McLaughlin, and with Adams County Republican Central Committee Randy Frese. My chief deputy Jim Kelly, I have recommended him to them and that will be up to the county board at that time to make an appointment," said Hamilton.
"It's time to spend a little time with my wife and my daughters and my grandson. I'm going to try to do a little traveling and get away from the 24/7 job," said Hamilton.
The Adams County board will appoint an acting coroner February 28.
After that, the board has sixty days to elect someone to the position.
Adams County Coroner Gary Hamilton says he'll retire from office at the end of this month.Hamilton was appointed to office in 1997 after the sudden death of coroner Chris Boyer.Since then, he has been re-elected to office.It's not known at this time who will fill the vacancy.
The full retirment notice follows:
To: Local Media OutletsFrom: Office of Gary Hamilton, Adams County CoronerFebruary 9, 2011RE: Retirement of PositionFOR RELEASE THURSDAY FEBRUARY 10, 2011 5:00 AM
Effective February 28, 2011, Gary Hamilton will retire from his position of Adams County Coroner.Hamilton was appointed as Coroner in June, 1997 after the sudden death of Adams County Coroner Chris Boyer. Since that time, Hamilton has been re-elected in four campaigns.Hamilton began his career with the Adams County Coroner's office in December, 1968. as a Deputy Coroner. He owned and operated Hamilton Funeral Homes in Clayton and Camp Point from 1970 until his retirement in 2007.Hamilton is a member of the Clayton Federated Church, Clayton Lions Club, Benjamin Masonic Lodge # 297, Quincy Consistory, Ansar Shrine in Springfield, District Director of Illinois Coroner and Medical Examiners Association, Tri-State Funeral Directors and on the board of directors for North Adams State Bank in Ursa and Camp Point. He formerly served on the committee to establish the Adams County Ambulance service, was a volunteer EMT for several years, chairman of the board for the Adams County Housing Authority, Vice Chairman of the Republican Central Committee and prescient committeeman along with many other community activities.I would like to thank the voters for their support, law enforcement and emergency services for their assistance and cooperation, Hamilton says.I'm ready to spend more time with my family and do some traveling says Hamilton. It has been a privilege to work for the people of Adams County for 42 years.