Deputy coroner retires after 26 years of service

Published 10:30 am Tuesday, September 5, 2023

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In September 1997, when Clark County Deputy Coroner Sarah Crews first took on the job, retirement seemed far out of mind.

Recently, it came to be.

After 26 years of service, Crews officially retired from the position on Friday, Aug. 31.

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“This is a wonderful community. There are so many wonderful people. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with everyone in Clark County,” Crews said during a recent interview. “I truly am blessed.”

A registered nurse by trade, Crews did not always envision herself one day taking the job leading her to serve Clark County for more than a quarter century.

“It was kind of a funny story how it got started,” Crews said.

Working the night shift, Crews – a recent college graduate – tended to the late E.L. Edgington, who – along with his wife – ran Edgington Funeral Home.

Located on South Main St., Edgington Funeral Home now houses Rolan G. Taylor Funeral Home.

“I found him to be fascinating; every chance I got at night, I would go in there and speak with him,” Crews said.

One night, Edgington asked Crews a question that posed interest.

“He [asked], ‘If you have two bodies in a house that caught on fire and one body is on their stomach, and one is on their back, and you can send only one person for an autopsy, which one are you going to send?’” Crews recalled. “I thought about it all evening…and went back in there…and said, ‘you know, I’m going to send the one on his back…[because] the one on his stomach was probably trying to crawl out. The one on his back was probably dead before the fire started. He said, ‘Very good answer!’ Someday, young lady, you can have my job!’”

Unbeknownst to Crews, Edgington was still deputy coroner.

Later, after his passing, then-Clark County Coroner David Jacobs reached out to Crews.

“He said that I came highly recommended, and [asked] would I come in for an interview?’” Crews said. “I did, and he hired me that very day.”

In her role, Crews has – among other duties – served as a death investigator.

Thus, she has helped determine different causes, going on all calls except for hospice and – with some exceptions – in-patient hospital and nursing home calls.

After retiring from nursing in June after approximately 30 years, Crews expresses mixed feelings about her retirement as deputy coroner.

“I love my job. I always have”, she said.

However, Crews – a mother of four and grandmother of five – anticipates bright moments in the future.

As time has passed, Crews – who served under Clark County Coroner Neal Oliver before her retirement – has worked with individuals such as the late Jacobs and Robert Gayheart.

“They were both wonderful people,” Crews said. “Neal [Oliver] is following in their footsteps. He’s a fantastic coroner, and I truly am going to miss working for him as well.”

Crews is also grateful for the many people she has served alongside.

“I’m going to remember all the people that I’ve worked with over the years. I appreciate each and every one of them and being able to serve this community [for] all those years,” she added.