In her own words: Grand County chief deputy coroner Tawnya Bailey vows to ‘strive to make the worst time in someone’s life a little easier’ |

In her own words: Grand County chief deputy coroner Tawnya Bailey vows to ‘strive to make the worst time in someone’s life a little easier’

Tawnya Bailey
Tawnya Bailey/Courtesy Photo

Tawnya Bailey is running uncontested for the position of Grand County coroner.

The vote will be part of the general election on Tuesday, Nov. 8. Ballots were mailed out starting Monday, Oct. 17. The last recommended day for voters to mail in ballots is Oct. 31, and polling stations will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Nov. 8. For more information, visit

Name: Tawyna Bailey
Occupation: Chief deputy coroner of Grand County
Place of residence: Granby
Length of residence in Grand County: 53+ years

Why is the coroner’s office important to Grand County?

It is difficult to think about, but death is part of life. The easy way to say what the coroner does is that they determine cause and manner of death. I have had the privilege of serving as Grand County’s chief deputy coroner for the past 10 years. I have sat with families as they grieved, and I have sat in the courtroom testifying about the truth of a death. I have stood on the roadside in subzero temperatures for hours on end, and I have attended the deaths of my own friends and neighbors. Our community is small and close, and I am honored to serve our families with sincere interest, dignity, respect and care. As your elected coroner, I will continue to strive to make the worst time in someone’s life a little bit easier through support and guidance and genuine caring.  

What are the important qualities of a good coroner? 

A coroner must work well under pressure. Often there are surprises, and a good coroner must be able to be flexible in their thinking in order to determine the truth. They must pay close attention to details, be analytical, be able to be completely objective and have the ability to lead their department.  Honesty and integrity are key components as well; coroners enter people’s homes, they take care of personal belongings, they guard privacy and they speak truth even when it is difficult. I have spent the last 10 years cultivating these skills as well as leadership and management skills that will help the coroner’s office continue to run smoothly.  

What important topics and trends do you want to try to address while in office? 

Family advocacy is an important topic for us. We will constantly evaluate and improve on our ability to ensure that families and loved ones have the resources and guidance needed from us to navigate through the process after a death. There is a lack of mental health resources available in our area, so we will advocate for better availability of those services. Prevention of suicides, drug and alcohol misuse, infant mortality, and stress and anger management are issues directly related to death that may be alleviated with mental health resources. 

How will you improve on the job done by Brenda Bock, the current coroner? 

Coroner Brenda Bock has done an amazing job in her years as the Grand County coroner.  She has elevated the office to a level of care that is no longer available in cities. She has built a legacy of honesty and integrity by defending the truth, even fighting against the state in an effort to report accurate COVID-19 death numbers during the pandemic. I am grateful to have been mentored and trained by Brenda, and I will continue to run the office in a manner that will honor her legacy. During the past 10 years, Brenda and I have worked closely with other county and state agencies and have built valuable working relationships with those entities. Brenda is leaving the office for a well-earned retirement. As your next elected coroner, I will ensure that Grand County Coroner’s Office functions efficiently and continues to be a valuable resource for Grand County.  

More Like This, Tap A Topic

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

The Sky-Hi News strives to deliver powerful stories that spark emotion and focus on the place we live.

Over the past year, contributions from readers like you helped to fund some of our most important reporting, including coverage of the East Troublesome Fire.

If you value local journalism, consider making a contribution to our newsroom in support of the work we do.