FAISON — Duplin County is mourning the loss of a great leader, beloved by his community and those who knew him. Retired Sheriff Glenn Jernigan passed away on the morning of July 10 at his home. He was 82.

Jernigan joined the Duplin County Sheriff’s Office in 1963, working his way up through the ranks, eventually serving as chief deputy for 25 years. He was appointed sheriff in 1999 after incumbent Sheriff George Garner became ill and could not complete his term. Jernigan retired in 2002 after serving as Duplin County Sheriff for three and a half years.

“Sheriff Blake Wallace and the Duplin County Sheriff’s Office is praying for the Jernigan family and is grateful for the dedicated service Sheriff Jernigan sacrificed to the great citizens of Duplin County, not only through law enforcement but also as a firefighter, church deacon, civic club leader and family man,” read a social media statement from the Duplin County Sheriff’s Office.

Jernigan was an active member of the community. He joined the Faison Fire & Rescue Department at the young age of 20, serving for more than six decades and as chief for over 30 years. He was a longtime member of Faison Baptist Church and a member of the Duplin County Rotary Club.

The former Sheriff was on the board of directors of Vidant Duplin Hospital, formerly Duplin General Hospital for more than 30 years. He was instrumental in establishing Goshen Medical Center and was a member of the board of directors.

He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Evelyn Jernigan, two children, four grandchildren and a loving extended family.

Ena Sellers may be reached at esellers@ncweeklies.com