MUNSON TWP. – Daniel C. McClelland, of Munson Township, passed away with his family by his side on April 14, 2021, after a courageous year-long battle with brain cancer.
Dan grew up in Geauga County and never left. He was born July 2, 1953, to Claire and Millicent McClelland.
Dan graduated from Chardon High School in 1971. He earned his degree in Criminal Justice Education from The University of Akron and was a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va.
Dan spent over 40 years in law enforcement proudly serving the citizens of Geauga County. His work began as a road deputy at the Geauga County Sheriff’s Office in 1976. He rose through the ranks as Sergeant, Lieutenant and Chief Deputy.
In 2003, Dan was sworn in as the Geauga County Sheriff and served in that role for over 13 years until his retirement on Jan. 1, 2017.
Dan aspired to leave the Sheriff’s Office better than he found it, and certainly did just that. His legacy is the amazing team of people who worked with him at the Sheriff’s Office, who keep Geauga County a safe place to live. He efficiently managed what he liked to call “the biggest hotel in Geauga county,” and was able to generate revenue to pay off the safety center early.
Whether you knew him personally, professionally, through his work with Rotary or other community organizations, had him greet you at the Fair or heard him speak after a parade, you knew this was a good man.
Dan always maintained his sense of humor and compassion. He treated everyone he encountered with respect, even once helping a criminal he was arresting put groceries away before taking him off to jail. He was a calming presence and charismatic leader. We saw him step up and masterfully take command after the Chardon school shooting.
Tired of seeing big dogs tear up car interiors, Dan took his own little dog, Midge, and trained her to be the world’s smallest drug dog. After appearances on Good Morning America, Fox and Friends, the Today Show and others, Midge’s popularity soared around the country and the world.
Dan’s greatest joy was his family. He made a lifetime of beautiful memories with his high school sweetheart and wife of 49 years, Beverly (nee Groh), and their loving children, Daniel (Jennifer) McClelland, of Hudson, Kelly (Dan) Slattery, of Burton, and Andy (Faith) McClelland, of Hambden Township.
He adored his role as Papa and Grandpa Dan to his grandchildren, Kristyn Bolard, Tyler McClelland, Jack, Will, Cole and Ryan Slattery, and Drew, Brad and Curt McClelland.
Dan is also survived by his siblings, Dean (Margie) McClelland, Mary (Tim) Williams and Ann (Barry) Klein; sister-in-law, Carol (Arthur) Shamakian; and many nieces and nephews.
Dan was preceded in death by his parents, Claire and Millicent McClelland.
His passing is also mourned by his family in blue at the Geauga County Sheriff’s Office. His trusted K9 and faithful companion, Midge, died just hours after him and will be buried at his side.
Visitation will be held Monday, April 19, 2021, from 12-3 p.m. and 6-9 p.m., at Burr Funeral Home, 116 South St., Chardon.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 24, 2021, at Guido’s Generations Event and Reception Center, 12809 Chillicothe Road, Chester Township.
To honor Dan’s legacy, the family requests donations be made to the Geauga County Sheriff’s Office K9 Fund, 12450 Merritt Road, Chardon, OH 44024.
Dan believed that you could never have too much ice cream, often taking his grandkids out for a cone twice in the same day. The King Kone ice cream truck will be at Burr’s scooping up ice cream in his honor during Monday’s visitation.
Arrangements made by Burr Funeral Home and Cremation Service. Information and condolences online at www.burrservice.com.