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Heat-related Fatality

Elderly Pope man succumbs to heat

By Billy Davis

An autopsy performed over the weekend concluded that a Pope man died of a heat-related illness.

Sheriff’s deputies and volunteer firefighters discovered the body of Gandy Suggs Jr., 73, in his living room Friday evening.

He lived alone at 1189 Main Street.

A grave side service for Suggs was held Saturday in Oakland.

He was survived by one son, Marcus Taylor, of Courtland.

Suggs had access to a window air conditioner but he didn’t like to turn it on, county coroner Gracie Grant-Gulledge, quoting a family member, said Monday.

Gandy’s death is the first heat-related fatality in 2009 following two deaths in 2008, she said.

The temperature in the home was still in the 90s when Pope firefighters entered, said Fire Chief John McCollum.

Suggs was a regular visitor at J.D.’s Quick Stop, where he had not been seen since Monday, the coroner said. 

When he did not show up after several days, the sheriff’s department was contacted for a wellness check at Suggs’ home.