TUSCOLA, Ill. (WCIA) — People all around Douglas County Wednesday were grieving after County Coroner Joe Victor died last night.
Victor died Tuesday in an Urbana hospital after going in for treatment for diabetes. On top of being coroner, he was also the Douglas County EMA Director.
For four decades Victor was involved in public service in the county. It started with his own ambulance service and quickly snowballed from there.
“When he had his ambulance service, he would automatically go in the ambulance on all the fire calls,” says longtime friend and EMA volunteer Dick Bickel. “Eventually they said, ‘As long as you’re here, you might as well be a member so you can run the truck and different things like that.'”
“Ambulance, Sheriff’s department, emergency management, out there at Cabot, fire,” says EMA volunteer Pat Titus. “He was a lot of things to a lot of people. He really was.”
Just a few years ago, he even ran for Douglas County County Sheriff. His running mate Mark Payne says those are some of his favorite memories.
“Although we didn’t ultimately win the election, we sure enjoyed the fight and the process of going through that,” says Payne. “I really enjoyed that with Joe.”
“Joe was like a brother to me,” says Bickel. “I can remember back in the early days running his ambulance service, we would work on the ambulances together in his garage. There were a lot of good memories. A lot of fond memories. We’re all going to miss him a lot.”
State Police and several fire departments honored Victor as he was coming home Wednesday afternoon. They have him an escort all the way back to Tuscola.