Sheriff Dwight E. Radcliff, age 87, of Circleville, Ohio, passed from this life on Wednesday, May 6, 2020, at OhioHealth Berger Hospital.
He was born September 14, 1932, in Circleville to Charles and Sadie Radcliff. He served as the 37th Sheriff of Pickaway County from 1965 until his retirement in 2013. At the time of his retirement, he was the longest-serving sheriff in the United States having served 12 consecutive terms (48 years). He is a second-generation sheriff having served as a deputy sheriff for his father for seven- and one-half years, serving a career total of 55 ½ years in law enforcement.
Throughout his career, Sheriff Radcliff helped to advance the Office of Sheriff and law enforcement as past president of the Buckeye State Sheriffs’ Association (1975); he was past president of the National Sheriffs’ Association (1987-1988) and held all offices in the Association and served on the Uniform Crime Reporting Committee, Budget and Audit Committee, and the Management Sub Committee; he has served on numerous task forces for the Ohio Attorney General; many Governors of Ohio appointed and reappointed him to various committees, including the Law Enforcement Automated Data System Steering Committee, Ohio Law Enforcement Emergency Radio Network, Ohio Criminal Justice Supervisory Commission; Ohio Sheriffs’ Uniform and Car Marking Commission; the Ohio State Emergency Response Commission; and the Ohio Organized Crime Committee; among many others.
He received numerous awards and recognition including the NSA Executive Director’s Award and the J. Stannard Baker Award (National Sheriffs’ Association); the President’s Award (Buckeye State Sheriffs’ Association); he was chosen as Ohio Sheriff of the Year in 1977 by the Ohio Fraternal Order of Eagles; he was recognized by the Ohio State Veterans of Foreign Wars as Law Enforcement Officer of the Year; and countless others.
He is a 1950 graduate of Circleville High School; a 1954 graduate of the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation Law Enforcement Academy; a 1967 graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy (79th Session); and a 1981 graduate and president of class of the National Sheriffs’ Institute.
Sheriff Radcliff is survived by his wife of 66 years, Betty Lou (Bircher); daughter, Vicki Radcliff; son Dwight (Jeanne) Radcliff; and son Robert (Dorethe) Radcliff; nine grandchildren: Kelly (Steve) Thompson-Kwasny, Lee (Megan) Radcliff, J.D. River, Asa (Rebecca) Radcliff, Nicholas, Paige, Christopher (Lauren), Emily Radcliff; Amber Compton; and five great-grandchildren, Macie, Mavric, Bennie, and Allie Radcliff; Trevor McCoy; nephew John Gray of Houston, Texas; and nephew Chas Gray of Bloomington, Indiana.
Sheriff Radcliff was preceded in death by his parents; sister Eleanor Gray; and brother-in-law Charles Gray.
On Tuesday, May 12, 2020, public viewing will be held at the Ohio Christian University, 1476 Lancaster Pike, Circleville, Ohio 43113, in the Maxwell Center, from noon 6 PM. This viewing will be staged in such a way that it adheres to current guidance permitted under the Ohio Department of Health Order, allowing for proper social distancing. All attendees will be required to wear some type of facial covering.
On Wednesday, May 13, 2020, a private family service will be held at 1200 hours. At the conclusion of this service, a local law enforcement procession (Pickaway County Agencies only) will take place from the university, through Circleville, to Forest Cemetery. At the cemetery, Sheriff Radcliff will receive a full law enforcement committal ceremony.
At a later date, when restrictions are lifted, the family will be hosting a celebration of life for Sheriff Dwight E. Radcliff.
The family would like to express their sincere appreciation for the kindness and care given to Sheriff Radcliff by the staff of OhioHealth Berger Hospital during the last few days of his life, and the comfort given to the family.
Memorial contributions may be made in memory of Sheriff Radcliff to the Pickaway County Sheriff’s Reserve Unit and online condolences can be made at www.wellmanfuneralhomes.com.
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