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Hero Down: Jones County Sheriff Danny Heath Dies Unexpectedly

Trenton, NC – Jones County Sheriff Danny Ray Heath died peacefully at his home on Aug. 2, according to his department.

The 52-year-old sheriff’s exact cause of death was not released.

“It is with great sorrow that the Jones County Sheriff’s Office announces the passing of Sheriff Danny Ray Heath,” the department said in a press release the following day. “Sheriff Heath died peacefully at his home with his wife, Cheryl, and children, Cheridan and Dylan.”

Sheriff Heath spent his entire life in Jones County, with the exception of the time he spent serving in the U.S. Navy, the Jones County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) said.

He was a combat veteran, having served in the Gulf War in 1991.

“With deep family roots in Jones County, every call and every case was personal to Danny,” his obituary read. “The character and integrity of the man beamed obvious in every small and large task. For the citizens he protected with all of his might, he was a giant and will remain a legend.”

He was first elected as the sheriff of Jones County in December of 2010.

“Danny never forgot or took for granted that he was chosen by the people to serve the people and he held his post with pride, honor, and strength with his every breath,” his obituary read. “He was grateful to be trusted by the people of Jones County. He absolutely personified and gave true valor to the definition of a ‘working Sheriff’ and required nothing less of his team, his blue family.”

Sheriff Heath and his high school sweetheart, Cheryl, were together for over 35 years.

He also leaves behind his children and many friends and extended family members.

“His legacy will be that he treated his deputies as family and that he led this family with strong convictions and a big heart,” the JCSO said. “His legacy will life on forever.”

Sheriff Heath was laid to rest on Aug. 7, WITN reported.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Jones County Sheriff Danny Ray Heath, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin

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