By: Audrey De Howitt
Death is something many people don’t want to think about…let alone see. But for Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher, facing death is an every day obstacle and her outlook might surprise you.
“I don’t think of the death part of it. I don’t dwell on the fact that it was…you know…a terrible car accident. If you did dwell on that you wouldn’t be able to handle this job for very long,” Fisher says.
Fisher credits her faith for helping her do her job.
“God has equipped me to do this job. I look at it totally different than some people do. I try to look not at the sadness of the situation but what can I do to help the people that are left behind?” she says.
Days at the Lexington County Coroner’s office are never the same. They can get anywhere from two to 10 calls each day. Fisher says car accidents are usually the hardest calls to respond to.
“I don’t know how I get through some of it…I really don’t. Cause sometimes I think, ‘Oh God, I’m not going to be able to do this.’ But I always do and it’s a miracle,” she says.
Morticia is the coroner’s controversial office cat. Fisher says she has played an instrumental role in the demeanor of everyone around the office.
“Since we got Morticia…oh my goodness…you would not believe the change she has made, just the small distraction that she is,” Fisher says.
Fisher says when she first took office last November, the Lexington County Coroner’s office was what you would expect. Everyone was sullen and mopey. She says Morticia knew immediately what her role in the office needed to be.
County officials are trying to evict Morticia because she violates a county ordinance that forbids animals in county buildings, Fisher is fighting to certify the cat as an emotional support animal so that she can stay in the office.
Fisher also relies on the support of her husband to get her through the day. Clifford Fisher owns a construction business. He also supplies and trains the Richland County Sherriff’s Department patrol horses. He also volunteers as a mounted police officer on the weekends.
The Fishers also have dogs, tortoises, donkeys and, the most surprising, a Mountain Dew-loving camel named Abraham who is quite the celebrity. Clifford has taken Abraham to events where he performs in plays around Christmas time and visits local schools for years.
It is safe to say that Margaret has quite the support system and chooses to see the better side of life. But at the end of the day, duty always calls.