Todd E. Ekleberry
April 07, 1969 ‒ April 06, 2019
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.