Middlebury Addison County Sheriff James B. Coons, 59, died April 16, at his home following a brief illness.
Born in Middlebury June 11, 1952, he was the son of the late Morton A. and Bette (Galgas) Coons. He was a graduate of Middlebury Union High School, class of 1970 and Champlain College, Burlington. He was a lifelong resident of Middlebury.
Coons started a successful career with the Middlebury Police Department in 1972 and served with that force for 10 years including assuming the role of Acting Chief prior to being elected Sheriff in 1982. He started serving his tenure in February 1983 as sheriff and was the longest term sheriff currently serving in that role in the State of Vermont.
He was a member of and past president of Vermont Sheriffs Association; a member and Past President of the Vermont Police Association of which he was a lifetime member; a member of the National Sheriffs Association and frequently represented law enforcement in the state legislature for the State of Vermont. Jim was a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
He was a member of the Middlebury United Methodist Church and had served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees.
Coons was a member of Bridport Morning Sun Lodge 5 F&AM.
His passions included collecting classic muscle cars, playing guitar in various bands for more than two decades and collecting vintage guitars.
Surviving family members include his wife of 36 years, Julie (Bishop) Coons of Middlebury; two sons, Jeffrey M. Coons and his wife Rebecca of Colchester and Jeremy G. Coons of Burlington; one sister, Debra C. Bagley and her husband Roger of Middlebury; also mother-in-law Joan Bishop of No. Syracuse, N.Y., father-in-law Frank Bishop of Eustis, FL; sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law; several cousins, nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents he was predeceased by a daughter, Jennifer Beth Coons in 1983.
A memorial service will be conducted on Monday, April 30, at 11 a.m., at Mead Chapel on the campus of Middlebury College. Private burial will take place at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorial donations be made to Middlebury United Methodist Church, 47 North Pleasant St., Middlebury or to Foley Cancer Center, 160 Allen St., Rutland, Vt. 05701.
Arrangements are under the direction of Sanderson-Ducharme Funeral Home, 117 S. Main St., Middlebury. www.sandersonfuneralservice.com