Longtime Long County Sheriff Cecil Nobles died early Monday morning at Wayne County Hospital in Jesup. He was 76 years old.
According to Long County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Robert Berry, Nobles passed away just after midnight. He was being treated for cancer.
Nobles was elected sheriff of Long County in 1969. His 43 years in office made him the longest-serving sheriff in Georgia and the second-longest serving in the nation.
Nobles served the community in several other capacities, including as a member of the Georgia Sheriff’s Association and the Georgia State Board of Corrections.
He also is a former Long County educator, having served as a teacher and an assistant principal.
He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Peggy, and three sons Jimmy, Kenny and Craig.
Long County Coroner Emmett Patterson was appointed by Probate Judge Marie Middleton to serve as the interim sheriff.
Long County officials say they're checking with the state to see what needs to be done in order to plan a special election.
Patterson, aided by two assistant coroners, will continue to serve as coroner.