Sue Fiduccia’s office sits nearly empty for the first time in 20 years. Wednesday marked her last day serving as Winnebago County Coroner after announcing her retirement last year.
“It’s just been a very sentimental day I guess,” said Fiduccia. “I guess that’s the only way I can word it.”
Fiduccia says she’s recieved dozens of well-wishes and “Thank You” notes in the past few days. The most touching, she says, have come from family members affected by tragedy; people she personally helped overcome grief.
“A daughter of a lady that was murdered, probably 25 years ago now…she was 2 years old when her mother died…she came in just to give me a hug and I thought, ‘Wow! Thank you’,” said Fiduccia.
She also received a “Thank You” card from a family whose son was killed in a car accident 15 years ago.
“Just to think that somebody can take the time to sit down and write a card to say ‘Thank You’ when you’ve given them the worst news they are ever, ever gonna hear, I can’t fathom it. But I’m very grateful to it,” she said.
But Fiduccia says she’s looking forward to retirement. Born and raised in Rockford, she doesn’t plan on moving, but wants to keep busy by doing more traveling and volunteering.
“Cause I know I have to keep busy. I know I can’t just go home, sit on the couch and read a book. Okay. That’ll last 2 days,” she said. “And then I will need to do something.”
Fiduccia says it will be strange to no longer have to worry about getting called out to a death investigation in the middle of the night, but she sees it as an opportunity to re-invent herself.
“I think it’s going to be a great adventure,” she said. “That’s what I’m looking at it as, as an adventure. And we’ll just see where it takes me.”