In Good Company- Coroner Sue Fiduccia
Coroner Sue Fiduccia
Photograph by Nels Akerlund Photography + Video
124 N Main St., Rockford
Coping with death is never easy, especially when you're faced with nearly 3,000 death-related calls each year, 300 of which are not of natural causes. But that's the life of Winnebago County Coroner Sue Fiduccia.
Fiduccia has been affiliated with the Coroner's office since the early 1970s. She served on the inquest review panel before joining the fulltime staff as secretary and later as deputy coroner. She was appointed coroner in 1995 and has been reelected every four years since. "I'm humbled that the voters think so highly of me," she says.
Without question, working with grieving families is a difficult but rewarding part of Fiduccia's job. After nearly 20 years, it remains agonizing to knock on a family's door to deliver bad news for Fiduccia, who relies on a higher power to get through the tough days. "I'm honest with the loved ones," says Fiduccia, who lost her husband to a long illness many years ago. "You can't take away the pain, but you can be there for them. Sometimes there's nothing more you can do than just listen."
One way Fiduccia manages is by visiting one of the local walking paths just to clear her mind. "It's so peaceful and helps to release my stress," she says. "I encourage families to do the same thing, especially on the anniversary of a loved one's death. Often they come back and say it really helps them."
(Written by Paul Arco)