A Tribute to
Ashville Police Chief
The following pages are excerpts from articles published in the Circleville Herald. Thank You.
|Nov 13, 2017
Douglas E. Clark age 60 of Ashville, passed away at his residence surrounded by his family after a brief battle with cancer. He was born Aug. 29, 1957, in Columbus, Ohio, to the late Richard H. and Wanda J. (Powell) Clark.
Doug was currently the Ashville Chief of Police, a position he had held since 2010. He was recently re-elected to a 4th term as a Harrison Township Trustee. He was a very active member of the Ashville Community Mens Club for 33 years. Before graduating from Logan Elm H.S. in 1976, he was a volunteer fireman at Pickaway Twp. Fire Dept. in 1975. Doug attended the Lancaster, Ohio, Police Academy, where he received a law enforcement degree. He began working for So. Bloomfield Police Dept. in 1979 , then came to Ashville Police Dept. in 1981 as a Patrolman and became chief in 1983 for a short time. Then in 1984, he began working for the Pickaway Co. Sheriff Dept. During this time he was an auxiliary for Circleville Police Dept. In 2008 he came back to Ashville as an officer until becoming chief in 2010. From 1981 until 2000 he was a Harrison Township Volunteer Firefighter and EMT, retiring as rank of Lieutenant. Doug was honored to receive the 2017 Distinguished Service Award during the Ashville Fourth of July celebration. In 1994 he received the Pickaway Co. Firefighter of the Year award. He was due to receive an award at the end Nov. 2017, from the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution Law Enforcement Commendation Medal.
Survivors include his wife of 25 years, Nikki L. (Kennedy); son, Joey Clark (Karalee Stemen) of Ashville; brothers Rick (Linda) Clark of Stoutsville and Kevin “Jack” (Penny) Clark of Circleville; sisters, Joyce Clark of Columbus, Irene Henderson of Ashville, Jill (Rick) Allen and Nancy Curry both of Circleville; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Joe and Joan Kennedy of Ashville; brother-in-law Scott (Renee) Kennedy; his friends and co-workers from the Police/Fire communities and from the Ashville Community Mens Club; and, his beloved dog, Buck.
The family will receive friends on Thurs., Nov.16, 2017, from 2-8 p.m. at Village Chapel Church, 30 Circleville Ave., Ashville, with a funeral service at 11 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 17th, with Pastor Kevin Pees officiating. Interment will follow in Harrison Township Cemetery, So. Bloomfield. The family request, in lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Berger Hospice or Chief Clark First Responder Scholarship Fund, c/o Nikki Clark, to the Oliver-Cheek Funeral Home, 420 W. Main St., Ashville, OH 43103. This will be used to help fund a scholarship to a Teays Valley or Logan Elm graduate who plans to pursue a career as a Police Officer or Firefighter/EMS. Online condolences to olivercheekfuneralhome.com.
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By Steven Collins Senior Reporter Nov 14, 2017
ASHVILLE— Douglas E. Clark, Ashville’s Police Chief since 2010 and Harrison Township Trustee, has died.
Throughout his public service career, Clark, 60, served as a Harrison Township Firefighter, Pickaway Township Firefighter, Pickaway County Sheriff’s Deputy, and Ashville Village Council Member. Clark also was recently re-elected as trustee of Harrison Township on Nov. 7. According to his obituary, he died following a brief battle with cancer.
Several members of the community and elected officials offered their condolences to the family via social media, and several spoke with the Herald Monday.
Chuck Wise, Ashville’s mayor, grew up with Clark and had been friends with him since childhood, jokingly blaming Clark for Wise’s career as a police officer.
“I am a lot of what I am because of him,” Wise said. “Back then, he talked me into joining the fire department and then the police department. Here we are all those years later doing the same stuff. Doug has been a long-time friend.”
Wise recalled the story of when they first met in Circleville at Mound Street as third graders 50 years ago.
“I remember his mom and dad bringing him into my classroom at Mound Street school,” Wise said. “The teacher put his desk against mine and said, ‘We have a visitor,’ and a few minutes later here comes Doug and they introduce him to class. The teacher told me, ‘It’s your job to introduce him to everyone at school and make sure he’s where he’s suppose to be,’ and we’ve been friends ever since.”
Wise said he and Clark have been known to be close over the years and never let any conflicts get between them.
“He gave me my first black eye,” Wise said. “We were nine years old, fighting over a football. He popped me in the eye I popped him in the mouth. Wasn’t too long and he called and said, ‘Do you want to spend the night? My parents said it was okay.’ I went over and spent the night that night.”
Another story Wise shared was how he got roped in to joining the fire department and later the police force.
“At 18, he told me we were going to the fire department and when we went to the fire department at Pickaway Township and he brings me there and said, ‘Chuck wants to join the fire department,’ and I said ‘I do?’” Wise said. “A few years later, I was old enough to join the police department. I never had the desire to do it, it was never a goal, but he kept after me. So I told him I’d ride with him. Then it wasn’t too long, but I was going to school for it.”
Wise said they spent a lot of time together, he and Clark.
“I’ve probably spent as much time with him and his family as I have my brothers growing up,” he said. “We went to 28 Cincinnati Reds games one summer without season tickets. That was a good time.”
As for the future, Wise said it’s hard to picture Ashville without Clark involved.
“He’s spent a lot of years serving the community in a lot of ways,” Wise said. “I’m kind of having a hard time without him here. He’s just always been here in one form or another.”
Robert Radcliff, Pickaway County Sheriff, remembered Clark as a good friend and a great partner in law enforcement.
“Doug was a true friend, partner, brother in law enforcement, and probably my closest friend when it came to law enforcement,” he said. “When I decided to run for office, Doug was beside me. His loyalty and dedication and partnership is invaluable. When you look at the bank robbery, the homicide, there wasn’t anything we weren’t willing to work side by side on. It wasn’t about the credit, but it was about serving the residents of Ashville and Pickaway County. We were on the same page with that.”
Radcliff said he and Clark have known each other for a long time, since their fathers worked together.
“His father worked with my father and his whole family,” he said. “I’ve known Doug since I was a kid. We worked together as deputies and when we were both administrators of our departments. He’s just a great loss. I’m so proud of what he achieved in Ashville and the relationships he was able to build up there.”
As for those relationships, Radcliff said the partnership between Ashville Police and the Sheriff’s Office will remain strong because of what Clark accomplished.
“He will not be forgotten,” Radcliff said. “We’re going to be there to support the police department because that’s what he wanted. We’ll continue to be that partner just as if Doug was there.”
Teays Valley Superintendent Robin Halley remembered Clark as a positive influence on the district and its students.
“I have known Doug Clark for almost 50 years,” Halley said. “He was a good friend. He was also a great friend and supporter to the Teays Valley district. He was visible at events and was always available for anything we needed. He made TV a top priority for keeping our kids safe. We will miss him and his positive influence throughout our district.”
Franklin Christman, Ashville Village Administrator, said Jeff George is now acting police chief. Christman then spoke about the impact Clark had on the community.
“He’s been a very active member of the community,” Christman said. “He’s an individual that people can look up to and a model for community involvement. He knew this community well and knew the needs of the community and filled them. I’m sure he has a legacy with all the people he interacted with. He was very helpful in linking Ashville and the township when there were opportunities. He was a dynamic individual.”
Eric Edgington, Chief at Harrison Township Fire Department, said he and Clark, “got along great together,” and remembered times in the fire service together and how Clark was always there for the township and the village, no matter if that was as Trustee, firefighter or police officer.
“I remember at our old fire house on Cherry Street he and I spent hours in there shooting pool,” Edgington said. “He was always there when needed. He had a big involvement in getting the new station built. He’d always tell me what went on during that period. I remember him being on the grain fire in the late 80s. Any time there was something huge, a disaster or whatever, he was there whether he was police or fire. He had a lot of involvement on the public service side.
“He was always serving the community in some type of hat,” Edgington said. “One of the best attributes I always admire is when they know everyone, they know their name. He always knew everybody’s name and I always admire people like that.”
Darryl Ward, president of the Ashville Community Men’s Club, said Clark was a great man for the community and a great father. He also noted Clark was presented with the 2017 Distinguished Service Award by the club during the 4th of July Celebration this year.
“He was on the Men’s Club 30-plus years,” Ward said. “He’s the only person that’s been president three separate times. He’s run it for six years as president. He’s done numerous committees on the Men’s Club; he was awarded the Distinguished Gentleman award from the club last year. He’s a great friend to me, we went camping together and he loved going to McGuffey Lane concerts.”
For Chief Clark’s full obituary, see page A5.
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.
Photos by Nancy Radcliff,
Photos by Nancy Radcliff,
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