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David- Tissue Recipient

David (Center) with fellow Coroners

With over 30 years of experience as a dedicated public servant, David Pendleton was appointed Oldham County Coroner in September 2017.  A proud Oldham County, Kentucky native, he has lived in the Westport community since 2000. As a tissue recipient, Pendleton has a unique perspective on life which positively affects his responsibilities as coroner.


Pendleton comes from a family of Law Enforcement professionals; his father was a retired Lieutenant with the Jefferson County Police and two of his brothers retired from the Clark County Metro Police Department in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pendleton has been a Volunteer Firefighter since 1990, and served as Okolona Fire Lieutenant for 10 years, followed by a 6+-year tenure as Westport Fire Chief; he is currently serving as Westport Fire Assistant Chief. In addition to his experience with the Okolona, LaGrange, and Westport Fire Departments, David also worked as a Correctional Officer in Jefferson County for 20 years, and as an Emergency Medical Technician with Oldham County Emergency Medical Services for 4 years.


He is committed to bringing transparency and compassion to the office of Coroner and much of that compassion is dedicated to the awareness of, and support for, organ, tissue, and cornea donation. This dedication comes honestly to him as he is a grateful tissue donation recipient.


As he explains, “While working with our local EMS I was lifting equipment and sustained a shoulder injury which tore my rotator cuff. Even after seeing my physician to correct the injury, the pain became more severe when my ‘repair’ did not take.” It was then that Pendleton’s doctor informed him of a procedure where he could receive ‘gifted tissue’ in his shoulder to help repair and make the joint stronger. “I researched the process and discovered how a simple piece of donated tissue from an anonymous donor could be a huge benefit to my joint and I agreed to move forward with the procedure,” he states.


Everything went well, however, Pendleton was restricted from returning to his EMS position. “As fate would have it, one day I was approached about a possible opening in the Coroner’s Office,” he continues. “I inquired and was appointed to the position where I found the true source of the gifted tissue with which I was so graciously blessed.” As the Oldham County Coroner, Pendleton then began his training to become an Ambassador for the Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates (KODA) and Kentucky Circuit County Clerks’ Trust for Life (TFL) Organ Donor Awareness Program.


“In my position, I strive to speak with donor families in a manner that ‘Sharing The Gift Of Life’, as KODA and TFL reference it, has helped ease their grief of losing a loved one,” Pendleton explains. “I’ll admit, it is not easy to talk with them during this time, but the support of several highly trained and influential folks with KODA and TFL are always there to answer any questions that the family or I have. He adds, “I am blessed to have had two very rewarding careers which ‘give back to the community’, as a retired Corrections Officer and retired Firefighter/EMT. Now, this chapter in my life helps me to continue being part of a large and extremely dedicated group of community supporters.”