One of Mississippi's longest-serving coroners, DeSoto County Coroner Jeff Pounders, was found dead by friends and family members late Monday at his residence on Pounders Road.
According to emergency officials, individuals had been attempting to contact Pounders for several hours Monday and could not reach him. It is possible that Pounders passed away sometime Sunday.
DeSoto County Sheriff Bill Rasco and other county officials responded to the scene of Pounders' rural family farm about 4:20 p.m. Monday after receiving word of Pounders' untimely death.
Pounders had served DeSoto County as coroner for more than three decades, formerly serving as an emergency medical technician and a paramedic.
Pounders also served as a nurse in the Emergency Room at Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto in Southaven.
Pounders had served as DeSoto County Coroner for 34 years. Previously a respiratory therapist with Methodist LeBonheur Healthcare and a former respiratory therapist at North Panola Hospital, Pounders served as Emergency Medical Service Director for DeSoto County. He was elected DeSoto County Coroner in 1983. He took office in January of 1984.
At the time of his death, Pounders was the the longest-serving DeSoto County official.
Pounders attended the University of Mississippi, obtaining a degree in Respiratory Therapy from Northwest Mississippi Community College.
Survivors include two sons, Josh, 37, and Jonathan, 32; and three grandchildren.
Vanessa Lynchard, County Administrator for DeSoto County, paid tribute to Pounders not long ago for going the extra mile to locate missing relatives of deceased individuals and serving the citizens of DeSoto County by going above and beyond the call of duty.
"I really don't think people know the effort that Jeffrey goes to," Lynchard told DeSoto County Supervisors in a comment before the DeSoto County Board of Supervisors last year.
Pounders has served in the past as secretary/treasurer of the Mississippi Coroners Association for three years, vice president for three years and as state president for eight years.
Known as kind-hearted and compassionate, Pounders has been known to search receipts and old address books in order to help hunt down living relatives.
"It's a tremendous loss for his family and all the citizens of DeSoto County," a visibly shaken DeSoto County Sheriff Bill Rasco said just moments after learning that Pounders had died.
Rasco rushed to the scene at Pounders' home, where Pounders' body was discovered on the floor in the kitchen. He apparently died sometime Sunday but the exact time of death was not yet known.
"Jeffrey was my good friend," Rasco said. "He has been doing his job for a long time. We will all miss him."
Funeral services for Pounders are incomplete.
Robert Lee Long: email@example.com or at 662-429-6397, Ext. 252