Former Middletown police officer dies

Ron VanArsdale
Ron VanArsdale

Community, family applaud VanArsdale for commitment to Middletown.

A longtime Middletown Division of Police officer and retired deputy chief died Monday night from complications from open heart surgery, his family said.

Ron VanArsdale, 79, died at University of Cincinnati Medical Center where he was transferred from Atrium Medical Center in Middletown.

He had a long and varied career with the city, serving for 30 years in the police department, as a probation officer, director of license intervention program for Middletown Municipal Court and leading the Neighborhood Watch program for the Safety Council of Southwestern Ohio.

Middletown Police Chief Rodney Muterspaw called VanArsdale “a great guy,” who frequently stopped by the police department after he retired to talk to the officers.

“We are going to miss him,” Muterspaw said.

One of VanArsdale’s three children, David, said his father is the reason he went into police work. He retired as police chief and serves as the city’s public safety director.

“I saw it was a good job,” VanArsdale said of law enforcement. “He showed me that.”

Then he paused and added: “He was my hero.”

Middletown Municipal Court Judge Mark Wall said because of VanArsdale’s outgoing personality he “had a way with people” regardless of the circumstances.

He called VanArsdale “a real asset” during his public service to Middletown residents.

City Manager Doug Adkins said VanArsdale worked his entire life “to keep Middletown safe, through his police work, and in retirement, with his work in the courts, and with Safety Council and Neighborhood Watch. I will miss him personally, and the city will miss his personal commitment to keeping Middletown residents safe.”

Arrangements are being handled by Wilson-Schramm-Spaulding Funeral Home. Visitation will be from 10 a.m. to noon Friday at Stratford Heights Church of God, 4419 Nelson Road. The funeral will follow at noon with Pastor Ray Phillips officiating.

Besides his son, VanArsdale is survived by his wife of 56 years, Linda; two daughters, Lisa Sherman and Jennifer Mabry; five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

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