Todd E. Ekleberry

April 07, 1969 ‒ April 06, 2019

Columbus, Ohio
Formerly of Marion, Ohio

The law enforcement community has experienced a tragic loss of one of their own, Todd E. Ekleberry, age 49, of Columbus, died unexpectedly on Saturday, April 6, 2019, at Riverside Methodist Hospital surrounded by his loving family and friends following a valiant battle with blood clots in his lungs.

Nearly 50 years ago to the day, on April 7, 1969, Todd was born in Marion, Ohio, the youngest of three sons of Norma Jean (Bateman) Ekleberry and the late Charles E. “Chuck” Ekleberry.  He was raised in Marion, where he was baptized and was a member of the Central Christian Church.  He graduated from Pleasant High School in the class of 1987.

Todd furthered his education at Ohio Northern University, until he saw an opportunity to fulfill his childhood dream of becoming a police officer, like his older brother, Ed.  He then completed training at the Police Academy in Lima, and joined Ed, at the Fulton Police Department.  From that moment on, Todd spent the rest of his life dedicating himself to the service of others, to public safety.  He had a distinguished 30 year career in law enforcement, serving as a police officer at the Ashley, Delaware, South Bloomfield, Mifflin Twp., and Shawnee Hills Police Departments, and since 2013 he has been commissioned with the Sunbury Police Department, serving three years full time and three years part time.

Never leaving any stone unturned, Todd had an insatiable need to learn everything he could about law enforcement and public safety.  He earned countless certifications as a police officer and EMT.  He had an extensive background in handling firearms, defensive tactics, and first aid.  His expertise included several other areas such as legal, use of force, and crisis intervention.  He was a certified Master Investigator and Master Evidence Technician for crime scenes.  Todd also was proud to be a published contributor to the Journal of Forensic Identification in 2004, showing how the use of trigonometry can be used to reconstruct shooting scenes.  All of his vast studies and law enforcement training, made him the best instructor a future public safety servant could ever ask for.  For over 15 years, he served as an Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy (OPOTA) Instructor, teaching at numerous academies throughout the state of Ohio, with longer stints at the Ohio State University’s Newark Branch and Eastland Career Center in Groveport.  For the past three years, Todd was using all of his training and expertise with OhioHealth Protective Services, where he was an OPOTA Firearms Instructor and where he was ardently working on a new training series to “Raise the Bar” and create a new level of safety at every OhioHealth location.

While Todd never hesitated to arrest someone, it took him a little longer to build up the gumption to finally ask an ER nurse he was smitten by out on a date, Sara Keaton.  He and Sara shared a special relationship and were looking forward to their future together.

Wherever Todd went, he left a lasting impact on everything and everyone he touched.  He strove to make every department he was a part of, and everyone in it, better.  He “lived with integrity, enthusiasm, and kindness.”  He held himself and everyone around him to the highest moral standards, always saying “Do it right or don’t bother doing it at all.”  He truly was a perfectionist, never cutting any corners.  Along the way he earned countless endearing nicknames, such as “Tactical Todd” which evolved to “Tackleberry”.  He will be remembered for his huge servant’s heart, and for his passion for teaching law enforcement.  Todd was the most compassionate and considerate team member and friend you could have had the honor of knowing.

Left to cherish his memory are his mother, Norma Ekleberry of Westerville; two brothers: Edward (Janet) Ekleberry of Cardington, and Vince (Joni) Ekleberrry of Montgomery, TX; one niece and four nephews: Kristina (Ed) Snashall, Kyle (Trisha) Ekleberry, Brandon (Kelly) Ekleberry, and Andrew and Nicholas Ekleberry; two great nieces and five great nephews; and his loving companion, Sara Keaton, and her two daughters.

Including his father, Todd was preceded in death by his niece: Allison Ekleberry.

His family and fellow officers will greet friends from 2 – 7 pm on Thursday, April 11, 2019, at the Heritage Christian Church, 7413 Maxtown Rd, Westerville.  Services honoring his life and contributions to help protect our communities will also be held there at 11 am on Friday, with Chaplain Paul Collins officiating.  Another hour of visitation will be held prior to his services at the church.  Burial will follow in Marion Cemetery.

It is his family’s wish to help those who embody Todd’s high moral standards and commitment to serve and protect the communities they love who might otherwise not be able to afford the training.  By doing so they hope to preserve Todd’s legacy of helping those who have a servant’s heart realize their dream of a career in law enforcement.  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Eastland Police Academy, c/o Todd Ekleberry Scholarship Fund, 4300 Amalgamated Pl, Groveport, OH 43125.

Snyder Funeral Homes of Marion are honored to serve Todd’s family and your condolences may be expressed to them by visiting www.SnyderFuneralHomes.com.

  • Todd was such a great guy & friend. I enjoyed our silly & hilarious moments from school into adulthood. We had many late night chats about well… you name it, we talked about it!! I will miss talking to him. I will miss the Todd-isms. I will treasure the memories, the friendship, the laughter… Always. Until we meet again my friend!!
    Wishing Peace to all Todd’s Family & Friends, my thoughts & prayers are with you all

  • My heart just breaks. Todd and I became friends about 10 years ago and became very close. He has helped me through some tough times. I’m blessed to have known him. I’m so sorry for your loss. Prayers to all of you.

  • Todd was always a pleasure to work with at Eastland Fairfield Career Center. He maintained interest of the students by being authentic. Todd’s honesty was apparent from the moment you met him. Todd was a rare and special kind of man that will be missed by many. Rest In Peace my friend.

  • I never met Officer Ekleberry, a friend of my husband posted this sad news. As a wife on a LEO my heart breaks for you. Todd’s story hits close to home for me. My husband barely survived from a DVT and multiple PE’s in Nov 2018 and is still struggling every day. Where I can ever fully understand how crushed you are I do empathize. I send my families my love and support to you. We will pray for your family. I want to thank you for Todd’s service. The hero’s that risk their lives every day deserve that are at most respect and admiration. May God bless and keep you.

  • I’m shocked and saddened hear of Todd’s death! I have had the pleasure of teaching classes with him at Eastland Vocational Police school. He enjoyed working with the young officers and always put 100% of himself into the classes. Central Ohio will miss his enthusiasm and dedication in the police and private security training community!
    Al Cook, Retired FCSO and certified OPOTA Instructor

  • I’ve know Todd personally for numerous years dating back 2002. Todd was a great friend, colleague, and just a around amazing person with a heart of gold. The news of Todd’s passing stopped me in my tracks. My heart hurts for Sara, his family, fellow co workers, and friends. I miss you brother and until we see each other again. Love you brother

  • Officer Ekleberry thanks for your service. You was a great person that i know when i lived in Sunburn. Prayers for ur family.

  • Todd was very instrumental in beginning my LE career. I did not have the pleasure of meeting him until after graduating from the academy in 2006, but he helped me obtain additional certifications that would prove very useful throughout. I remember him as being extremely passionate about LE and the education thereof as well a very patient man. I am grateful to Todd for his help and guidance is what made being a LEO possible. You will never be forgotten and will be missed by all who knew you.

  • …Lost of words. I have been trying to comprehend why such a Godsent man goes this early but Todd is in a better place watching over us. Had the privilege to work with him at Riverside hospital, very down to earth but get the job done and most of all respects everyone. I had had numerous chance to express my gratitude for him whiles he was with us, though tearing I’m happy he’s with the Lord. His good deeds are leading him. Rest well with the Lord buddy.

  • I had the privilege of working with Todd at Riverside and got to know him these past few years. He always had a cheerful, positive attitude no matter what the situation. Always kind, courteous , professional and what a great sense of humor. He was respected and loved so very much! I will miss him coming up to our unit with his calm assurance. My deepest sympathies to his family . Until we meet again, Todd!

  • I have known Todd since 2004. He was a reader at my first wedding. I am so deeply saddened by the news of his passing. What a great guy he was!! My thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and fellow officers. You will be so missed Todd!!!

  • My deepest condolences to the family of Todd. As part of the Ohio Health Protective Services training team, I worked with Todd very closely. I always admired Todd’s enthusiasm and integrity.
    I considered Todd a friend and we always had a good time whenever we were together.
    I will miss him and always remember him.

  • To Todd’s Family I truly am sorry for your loss. I never had the honor of meeting Todd in person but I felt like I new him by his phone calls to my husband and their training times together. I come from a family of Police officers and I feel like I lost one of my brothers. We are all family and I pray every day that they all come home safe.

    Todd,

    We will miss you every day and please know that you will Never be forgotten !

  • My thoughts and prayers are with you. During the time that Todd and I dated (many years ago now but seems like just yesterday) – you know that you all became like family to me. I was heartbroken to hear this. Todd was a great guy and I know how much each of you meant to him. I am just finding out the news so sorry I can’t be there. You will definitely be in my thoughts and prayers! As I was trying to find out more information – Mr Ekleberry’s picture came up in my Google search (along side of Todd’s). Todd is in good hands. My love is with you. Amy (Walters) Dormann

  • I had the pleasure of getting to know Todd by sharing stories, laughing and spending time with him over the last 8 months. The first time we meet he told me I would never met another man like him & that his parents raised him right. I have to agree with him on both accounts. He had a genuine soul & the most tender heart. My deepest sympathies go out to his family & friends but especially to his mother. He spoke so highly of her & said “she is a strong woman”. Norma you raised a fabulous man! Thank you for sharing him with the rest of us. Rest in peace sweet man. ❤️

  • My heart goes out to you all. I never met Officer Ekleberry but know how devastating the sudden loss of a person can be. May God give you comfort in memories,
    knowledge and wisdom in the days ahead .

  • As part of the OhioHealth Protective Services team, I would like to send my heart out to Todd’s family and friends. I had the opportunity to work with Todd on a few occasions. He is a very stand up guy who will always point you in the right direction. A memory of Todd I will always remember is in the defensive tactics training, he told us firmly that “You will not get in trouble for using your equipment.” Remembering that alone and applying it in every situation necessary has helped keep Officers safe on numerous occasions. Todd was also the range instructor when I qualified where we shared a few laughs together. Todd has definitely had a memorable impact on everyone he came in contact with. It was certainly a honor to have worked with Todd.

  • I’m beyond speechless and heart broken. I was one of the lucky ones who had the privilege to meet Todd while working at Riverside Hospital. I will never forget how kind and supportive he was in crisis situations. He always lifted our spirit by joking and making us laugh. He had a bright smile that could lit up a room, and positive attitude. He treated everyone with dignity and respect. Todd you’re missed greatly. My condolences and Prayers for his family.

  • I want to express my deepest condolences to Todd and his family. I had the pleasure of working with Todd since he started at Riverside. He was an exceptional individual with a huge heart. I always knew when there was a crisis Todd was there to make sure everyone was okay. I feel very blessed to have worked with Todd. What an amazing person. May you Rest In Peace.