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PROFILE


Hearts for Service


The AAC board of directors welcomed four new members in 2017. Continue reading to learn more about the county officials who represent their associations on the board.


Profiles by Christy L. Smith and Holland Doran AAC Communications Staff


“I watched my grandmother take her last breath, and even though I was sad, I was like, ‘What is this death?’ I wanted to dig into death,” he said. After graduating from Lonoke High School, Hobbs joined the U.S. Army and worked in Mortuary Affairs at Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii. He began his career on the funeral home side of the business. However, he shifted to the coroner side when he learned more about forensics. Now he is in his fifth year as Pulaski County coroner. He previously worked as a field investigator for the Ar-


S


kansas State Crime Lab, as a deputy coroner for Pulaski County, and as chief deputy coroner for Pulaski County. Hobbs is active in the Arkansas Coroners’ Association,


having served as vice president for three years. He also sits on the legislative and continuing education committees. Hobbs was appointed to fill a vacancy on the AAC board this year, and he said he feels “honored.” “Te importance of the AAC to me is incredible,” Hobbs said. “Tey have your rules and regulations. Te AAC has it all for anybody that steps into county government.” Hobbs also is chair of the Arkansas Regional Organ Re-


covery Agency (ARORA) board, chair of Inner City Fu- turenet, past master of his Masonic Lodge, and an associate minister at St. Paul Baptist Church in Little Rock. Hobbs said his job can take an emotional toll, but it helps


to have a strong support system — someone to talk to. “My staff, all of us, when it comes to children, that’s al- ways a stressful time,” he said. Hobbs uses his position to help children. “I enjoy going to these high schools and these middle schools and talking to the kids about safety, especially to high school kids about driving. I’m passionate about the driving part because I lost a son in a car accident,” he said. Hobbs actually responded to that call, not knowing the victim was his son, 18-year-old Xavier, until he arrived at the scene of the accident. He said the event changed him and his approach to helping the families he encounters. “Tat day I understood my job,” he said. “People are at their lowest point [when a family member dies]. I was. My staff handled me with care. And that’s what we try to do with every family that comes through our office.” Hobbs and his wife, Courtney, have been married eight


years. He has two other sons — Quincy, 25, and Courtlon, 7 — and two daughters — Ryen, 19, and Judyth, 11.


40


ome boys want to be policemen or firemen when they grow up. Not Pulaski County Coroner Gerone Hobbs. At 12 he knew he wanted to in- vestigate death.


Hobbs has grown his staff during his tenure as coroner. When he was appointed to the position, he had only five deputies. Now the Pulaski County coroner’s office employs 13 people. Hobbs does not respond to calls much anymore. He stays busy writing coroner reports, issuing death certificates, con- ducting the day-to-day operations of his office and meeting with families. “People come in sometimes, and they just want to talk,”


Hobbs said. “I love to help folks. I take it personally. I take my job personally.”


Gerone Hobbs Pulaski County Coroner COUNTY LINES, SPRING 2017


COUNTY OFFICIAL


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