Ashville's Chief Clark honored and laid to rest
By Steven Collins Senior Reporter
Nov 18, 2017
ASHVILLE— Ashville Police Chief Doug Clark was laid to rest Friday morning with a service at Village Chapel United Methodist Church followed by procession through Ashville.
Some 100 police officers, sheriff’s deputies, fire and EMS personnel from several different departments from Pickaway County and surrounding communities were present to pay their respects.
The 90-minute service opened with a short video that had been made by the Teays Valley School District prior to Clark’s death. Then, as the casket was brought into the church, all first responders present stood and saluted.
The Rev. Kevin Pees, who is the Ashville Police Department Chaplain and pastor at Village Chapel, led the memorial service. Pees read from scripture and said prayers during the service, as well as shared a story about Clark.
“From the tones of the pager to the voice of a dispatcher, Chief Clark’s life has been shaped by dispatch for over 40 years,” Pees said. “Those of you in law enforcement or the fire service know the dispatch life. While you may long for a quiet shift—I think all do—sometimes there is a sense that someone is not living that for what he or she was created until a dispatch is received. No matter how many years of service and no matter how long one has worked to control it, that advance of adrenaline cannot be described to a person who has not served in uniform.”
Following Pees’s message, Ron Reese, chaplain with the Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office, also spoke.
“God also has an interest in keeping order and he uses [the police] to do it,” he said. “That’s why you must live reasonably, not just to avoid punishment but because it’s the right way to live.”
After Reese, friends and family took turns speaking including Clark’s brothers Rick and Jack ClarkRick Clark said that he and his brother attended several Ohio State football games and the only time they made it to a game against Michigan, it ended in a tie.
“He was the best brother I could ever have,” Rick Clark said. “I can’t tell you how much I admired him, how much he meant to me and he was the sweetest guy you’ll ever meet.”
Jack Clark said he thought the chief would have wondered why all the officers were there in the church and not on duty.
“He was a humble man and he preferred to avoid the spotlight,” Jack Clark said. “A couple of months ago Doug switched from the white shirt he is wearing to a dark shirt and claimed it was because he wanted to be one of the guys. He did not want to be superior in his role; that was just Doug and the way he was.”
Jack Clark also shared a story about his father and what he use to say about Doug.
“I remember many times when we were little that dad would make the comment, ‘if you crack open that boys’ head, little fire trucks and police cars would come out,’” he said. “Boy did he hit the nail on the head.”
After his brothers, Pickaway County Sheriff Robert Radcliff spoke and reflected on his friendship with Clark, as well as how the Clark Family and the Radcliff Family’s histories are intertwined, noting that his grandfather and Clark’s grandfather were Sheriffs of Pickaway County and Madison County at the same time.
“I knew him by a lot of different names…Doug and I were destined to be friends,” Radcliff said. “I was fortunate enough to be able to call him my friend, my co-worker and my fellow administrator.
“From a young age we were friends,” he said. “We were the type of friends you have in high school that you may not see each other for weeks or years but when you do you’re still friends. Over the last several years we became closer. When I decided to run for sheriff one of my biggest supporters and closest allies who went out and fought for me was Doug Clark. He put up signs, took down signs and did whatever needed to be done. I can’t say enough about our friendship, how fortunate I am to have had Doug as my friend; but not only as my friend, but as my brother.”
After Radcliff, Chuck Wise, Ashville mayor and Clark’s friend since childhood recounted several stories including how he met Clark, and how Clark got him involved in public service over the years.
Steve Sabine, who attended high school with Clark concluded the remarks by citing scripture. Following Sabine’s words, three verses of Amazing Grace were sung by those at the ceremonyAs the service concluded the sun shone down on the funeral procession as it made its way up Ashville-Circleville Road, turned left into town passing Teays Valley High School and the Harrison Township Fire Department, before turning on to Long Street and turning right on to Main Street, then passing in front of the police station, before heading out of Ashville and across U.S. Route 23 toward Harrison Township Cemetery.Along the route, many onlookers stopped to pay their respects to the procession, including one couple who held an American flag with a blue stripe. Dozens of people placed their hands over their hearts along the way.
Motorcycles from the Columbus Police Department, The Ohio State Highway Patrol and the Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office stopped traffic in Ashville and along U.S. Route 23 so the procession could pass. Upon entry to the cemetery, Circleville Fire Department and Pickaway Township Fire Department positioned their trucks together with their ladders extended as cars passed beneath them.
At the cemetery a short service took place that featured Columbus Police Bagpipe player Nick Siers and a three-volley salute in between words from The Rev. Pees. Clark also received an End of Watch Call over the radio and the service was concluded in prayer before a receiving line passed by Clark’s family as mourners left the cemetery.
For more photos from the cemetery service, see page A2.
Village of Ashville, Ohio
Douglas Clark, Chief of Police
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