COFFEE CO., Ala. (WDHN) — On New Year’s Eve, a public servant for a half-century will officially retire.

WDHN caught up with Coffee County E911 coordinator, Marvin McIlwain, and the man chosen
to succeed him at the end of the year.

At 80 years old, McIlwain is calling it a career in public service. For the last 19 years as E911 coordinator, he has made sure all structures in the county, except for Enterprise, are properly addressed which makes it easier for mail delivery, as well as a response during times of emergency.

The City of Enterprise handles its own address system.

McIlwain says “It’s a good time, you always want to leave things better than you found them. I don’t know how much better but coffee county e911 is in good shape as I walk away from it and I feel it’s in great hands.”

Jesse jones will be taking over it, he has an E911 background.

Jones says it’ll be difficult to fill the shoes of Marvin but he adds he has years of working with emergency services to help those in need.

Recently, former Coffee County Dispatcher Jones was appointed as McIlwain’s successor beginning on new year’s day. Jones will be responsible for properly addressing homes, businesses, and other structures across nearly 900 square miles.

“I looked forward to this, not that I want Mr. Marvin to retire and I’m going to miss him terribly. Being around as a friend, we’ve worked together in this line for the last 20 years,” said Jones.

Besides serving as e911 coordinator. Mcilwain was also a one-time coffee county coroner. He also served as a volunteer firefighter and a reserve deputy with the Coffee County Sheriff’s Office.

In 1979, he also served nine days as sheriff following the fatal shooting of his good friend,
Sheriff Neil Grantham.