Stephen Michael Arbaugh

December 21, 1947 ‒ January 15, 2018

Mansfield, Ohio

Lieutenant Stephen Arbaugh was like a brother to many, not just a friend. Every activity in which he participated grew to form a strong kinship: his Sheriff Department Family, his Horse Judging Family, his McDonald’s Breakfast Family, his Golf Family, his Gun Collectors Family, and his Lexington Athletics Family.

Steve Arbaugh, age 70, passed away Monday, January 15, 2018 at his Mansfield farm. He was born December 21, 1947 in Mansfield to parents David Roy & Marjorie Ann (Maglott) Arbaugh. He graduated Madison High School with the class of 1966 and married Gwendolyn Curtiss on March 21, 1981.

Lieutenant Arbaugh retired from the Richland County Sheriff’s Department after 28 years of service. He enjoyed mentoring his co-workers and serving alongside them. Steve was an excellent marksman who learned everything there is to know about firearms and was adamant about gun safety.

Enforcing rules was important to Steve while working, judging horse shows, or even just playing a round of golf with friends. You could always rely on Steve to know the rules, keep everyone in line, and to be honest.

As a young man, Steve showed horses and worked in Texas and Ohio as a horse trainer. His incredible knowledge led him to judge for the AQHA (American Quarter Horse Assoc.) all over the US and Canada and also for the NRHA (National Reining Horse Assoc.). Every October for over 25 years he was a paddock judge for the All American Quarter Horse Congress in Columbus, Ohio. Over the years he had many horses, and currently had six horses and two ponies. As much as Steve loved rules, they went out the window when it came to his animals. Steve was known to be a bit of a softie toward his dogs.

He is survived by his loving wife of 36 years Gwen Arbaugh of Mansfield; daughter and son-in-law Kiley & Steven Harkins of Mansfield; sister Shelley (Gary) Delk and their daughter Kelly (Tyler) Armstead with their children Austin & Alyssa; sisters-in-law Gretchen Curtiss and Christine Curtiss and her daughter Adrienne (Drew) Jackson; brother-in-law Carl & Linda Curtiss with their children Shelley (Dave) Schmitt & family, Carrie (Ben) Davis & family, and Dan (Anita) Curtiss & family.

In addition to his parents, Steve was preceded in death by his brother David Roy Arbaugh, II; cousin Ken McCally; and parents-in-law Dr. C. F. Curtiss and Jean Curtiss.

His family will receive friends Monday, January 22, 2018 from 3 to 8 p.m. in the Lexington Avenue Snyder Funeral Home where a funeral service honoring Steve’s life will be held 11 a.m. Tuesday and Pastor Bill Heaton will speak.

Contributions in Steve’s memory to the Lexington Athletic Dept. can be made at the funeral home.

Snyder Funeral Homes is honored to serve Steve’s family and encourage you to share a memory and watch his tribute video at

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  • God bless your family Sir. And God bless you for being a wonderful man and role model. EVERYONE loved working for you… Now you can show God’s horses in heaven. You will truly be missed .

  • God bless your family Sir. And God bless you for being a wonderful man and role model. EVERYONE loved working for you… Now you can show God’s horses in heaven. You will truly be missed .

  • Thoughts and prayers are with all the family today. LT. absolutely was one of the best, and it was an honor to have known him. Always quick with a hand and great advise, he will be greatly missed.

  • Lt Steve Arbaugh, a great man, a great supervisor, a great brother in arms, sir you will be missed beyond measure. Prayers to the family.

  • To Steve’s family: I attended school with Steve through grade school and high school and considered him a friend. My dad enjoyed coffee times with him at McDonalds. You are in our prayers for peace and comfort at this time of loss.
    Blessings, Nancy Tinkey Holtrey and her father Earnie Tinkey

  • Lt Steve Arbaugh a dear friend and someone who could always make me laugh with his “R. Lee Ermey” impersonations! This is a man who deeply loved his wife and daughter and always talked about them to everyone. He will be greatly missed. May God comfort his family like only He can.

  • Dear Gwen and family… all have my deepest sympathy. Steve will truly be missed and I pray for your comfort and strength during this time.

  • Gwen, Kiley, Shelly and all your family. You have my deepest sympathy. It is hard to express how sad I feel with the passing of Steve. He was one wonderful man. He was such a gentleman. Always so kind. He always took the time to greet me and ask how I was doing. His whole family was so special to me. You all will be in my thoughts and prayers. He will surely be missed by many people. He had a great impact on lots of lives.

  • Dearest Gwen and family, I am so, so sorry for your loss. LT was one of a kind. I appreciate and am so grateful for him starting me in my law enforcement career, God Bless you all!!!!Rest in peace LT!!!

  • • I Graduated from Madison with Steve in 1966. Then I had the distinct pleasure of working with him. Me with OSP at post 70 and Steve at RCSO. Steve was a true professional. Good cop sense and an abundance of common sense and kindness. Truly a gentleman and looked up to by all who knew him. My sincere condolences to his family.

  • So sorry for your loss Shelley. I am sure you have many fond memories. Condolences to you and your family. My thoughts any prayers are with you during this difficult time.

  • It was a joy to have shared life with Steve and his family. I condole with all who wereally privileged to share life with hom.

  • My sincere condolences to the family. I graduated Madison High with Steve. He was a great guy then and always remained a great man. Peace and comfort to the family.

  • What a great guy and family man. I knew him when we were in law enforcement and had the pleasure of being in the same golf league for over 20 years. Prayers to his family. Dave Messmore

  • I’m very saddened to hear of Steve’s passing. He will be greatly missed at those “all hour” Check ins at the Congress arena gates. Many prayers for Steve and his family . RIP

  • Our deepest condolences Gwen and Kylie. Steve was such a great man. Lexington sports will not be the same without his smile and knowledge of every aspect of the game. Bob also has many great memories of Steve the LT. You are in our thoughts and prayers

  • I worked with LT. Arbaugh for several years. He was always a pleasure to be around and dispatch for. Prayers of comfort for his loved ones.

  • Gwen and Kylie, Joe and I are so sorry for your loss. Steve was a great man and a wonderful friend. We enjoyed so much sending your family the DeVoss-O-Matic gifts and the joy that it brought to Steve and the family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time.
    Becky and Joe DeVoss

  • Steve and I were friends in the 60s. We worked together at Tappan and attended OSU together. His knowledge of horses was remarkable and I learned much from him. I always enjoyed running into him over the years. He was a very good man , very smart and a very nice guy.

  • Gwen and Kiley we are sorry about your loss. Many prayers of comfort during this time.
    Mike, Jody and Abbie Johnson

  • Sarah and I had the pleasure of knowing Steve over the past 30 years, and we are Blessed to have know Steve. It all began for us at Daugherty’s Sohio… Wishing Steve’s family comfort and joy in the knowledge of how many lives were positively touched by Steve.

  • Our deepest codolences to the family. Steve was one of our greatest customers at our Hanley Rd McDonalds. He will be dearly missed by the Mgt and crew.
    Jeff Monica

  • We will miss this kind man. Always enjoyed watching Lexington athletic events with him.

    Our prayers are with his family.

    In sympathy,
    Ed and Teresa Vore

  • I’m sure all Steve’s friends from McDonald’s share my feelings – Steve was always a guy you could count on. Just a great guy with an unbelievable amount of knowledge (great at crossword puzzles), a quick sense of humor and always willing to help people. He will be sorely missed and remembered each day by his McDonald’s buddies when they have their morning coffee. To his family: So sorry for your loss. I’m sure all who knew Steve would agree with me when I say he was a good man in every sense of the word. God bless.

  • I also considered Lt. Arbaugh another father when I worked under him at RCSO. He was a great leader who knew how to explain what you did wrong without shouting at you. I learned much from him, and I hope that I am able to share that knowledge with my criminal justice students at Pioneer. I am so sorry for your loss. Lt. was a wonderful man!

  • Lt. Arbaugh was not just a great Law Enforcement Officer, but a true friend. I had the honor of working with him at RCSO.
    He will be greatly missed.

  • I am greatly saddened to hear of Steve’s passing. Our paths crossed many times in our law enforcement careers. We shared many of our law enforcement experiences while having coffee. Steve was a true professional. He was an officer and friend you could always count on. He believed a handshake was a solemn vow to fulfill whatever he promised to do.

    RIP my friend.
    Your memory will live on within each of us you have touched.
    U412 (retired)

  • Steve was a wonderful friend to Sid for decades, and we are all devastated by his passing. The Congress will never be the same without his compassion and professionalism. Prayers to his family and friends. Sid, Leigh Ann and Dakota Griffith🙏🏻

  • Lt. You were one of my favorite customers at McDonald’s. Your smile would light up the room and you always made sure I was doing good while I was pregnant.
    I can not put into words how much you will be missed by so many.
    God Bless you and your wonderful family.

  • Our thoughts and prayers go out to Steve’s family. He was one of the good guys and will be missed by everyone who knew him. So sorry for your loss.

  • Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I am so very sorry for your loss. I really enjoyed working with Steve. He will be so greatly missed.

  • Will be praying for love and peace to Gwen and Kylie and the rest of the family! I am absolutely heart broken for you ❤️ What a wonderful man he was!

  • I had the pleasure of working with Steve for several years at RCSO, he was a great LT and could always make you laugh, RIP You will truly be missed. Prayers for the family.

  • Bob and I knew Steve from showing horses as well as working with him as a judge and steward at the Quarter Horse Congress. A true gentleman always we enjoyed him as a peer and friend. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family. RIP Steve
    Your friends
    Bob and Debbie Kail

  • Steve, we always enjoyed talking to you when you stopped in. You were always quick to give me a piece of advice as well. Your sense of humor will be greatly missed and he frequently would tease me about snowstorms and getting calls. The last conversation I had with him was him teasing me about the upcoming snow. I will our conversations, your advice, and sense of humor. Steve was truly a man of honor, old school, and well respected. Rest in peace, sir.

    My thoughts go out to Steve’s family and close friends. May you find comfort and strength during this time. Know that Steve touched many lives in such a positive manner. He will be greatly missed.

  • So sorry to hear of Steve’s passing. He always had a well-wish at the congress gate check-in for the many nervous novice taking their first go into the congress pen. You could tell, he was one of the good guys. So sorry for your loss. Sorry to lose one of the good guys.

  • We met Steve about fifteen years ago at the Hanley Road McDonald’s through Ed Thomas and found him to be an erudite, intelligent, interesting conversationalist, so we thoroughly enjoyed our acquaintance. You have our very deepest sympathy for his untimely loss.

  • I first met and befriended Lt. Arbaugh as a young trooper with the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Over the years we spent a lot of time together either work related, golfing or just drinking coffee and conversing. I always admired and respected Steve for the high degree of dignity and professionalism that he exhibited both publically and privately. He was a real gentleman and a true professional law enforcement officer. Besides his family, I’m sure that he’ll be sadly missed by those like myself that had the distinct honor and privilege to have known and befriended him. Rest In Peace My Good Friend!

    Retired Sergeant, Kevin A. Titler
    Ohio State Highway Patrol

  • Gwen, we know you will miss him so much, our prayers are with you and we always enjoyed times with Steve at horse shows, football games, etc. He will be missed by many. Missie & Jim Streib

  • I have many great memories of Lt. Steve Arbaugh as my supervisor and am saddened to have lost a friend. I pray for God to provide comfort and peace to his loved ones, family and friends.

    Blessed are the Peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God. Matthew 5:9

  • Dear Gwen, Our sincere sympathy. We will truly miss our dear friend…may your memories be a great source of comfort to you, Kylie, and family.

  • My deepest condolences to the family. May you cherish the memories that you share and may God be a true source of comfort. Psalm 94:19 “When anxieties overwhelmed me,You comforted and soothed me.”