By Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Lee County Coroner Carolyn Gillentine-Green is known for being compassionate while doing a tough job.
A state organization has recognized her willingness to go above and beyond to help families by naming her the winner of the 2011 Amy Clayton Volunteer Advocate Award.
The award, presented by the Mississippi Coalition for Survivors of Homicide, is given to coroners who go beyond their job duties to assist and comfort the families of murder victims.
It was named after Amy Clayton, a Lee County woman who was killed in the late 1980s. Her mother, Carolyn Clayton, created Survival Inc. after her daughter’s death to help people cope with the loss of loved ones due to violent crime.
Clayton nominated Gillentine-Green for the award.
“Our coroner has a lot of difficult things she does for her job and some of the things she does come from the bottom of her heart and not her job description,” said Clayton.
“I’ve heard so many people talk about how she stays with them and comforts them when someone dies. Those are things she doesn’t have to do. People forget what people say to them when they lose someone, but you never forget how a person makes you feel. Carolyn makes people feel good.”
In the nomination, Gillentine-Green was noted as doing things like accompanying victims to court during murder trials. The coroner also has helped families obtain financial compensation to help with burial expenses.
“These families suffer enough with the sudden and often violent death of their loved one,” said Gillentine-Green. “Their hurt should not be compounded by the many unexpected expenses surrounding the death. If I can help ease their pain or reduce their stress by getting the victims compensation application started, I feel that I have made a difference.”
Contact Danza Johnson at (662) 678-1583 or firstname.lastname@example.org.