Longtime Randolph Co. Sheriff passes away

RANDOLPH COUNTY, GA (WTVM) - Family and friends are remembering longtime Randolph County Sheriff Gary Yochum, who family members believe died  of a massive heart attack early Saturday morning.

With a personality bigger than life, it is no surprise the news of his death came as a shock to everyone who knew him.

The loss isn't just great for his family, but for his department too.

"He took a pay cut in his own salary to give everybody else in the department a raise because they couldn't afford it, so he thought everybody deserved to have it, so he took the cut and gave it everybody," said Gary's son Brant Yochum.

Yochum took office in 2001 and he just won re-election for his fourth term in November.  He was 62 years old.

Georgia Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. released a statement Monday regarding the passing of the longtime sheriff.

"Sheriff Yochum and I shared a great working relationship over the years, and so I know that his sincere dedication and service to the people of Randolph County as the chief law enforcement officer will be greatly missed and long remembered," said Congressman Bishop. "My heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to former Sheriff Gary Yochum's wife, his two sons, the Randolph County police department, and greater Randolph County community during this period of loss."

His funeral will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday afternoon in Cuthbert GA.

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