GEAUGA COUNTY, Ohio — Funeral arrangements for retired Geauga County Sheriff Daniel McClelland were released Thursday afternoon.
McClelland, who passed away Wednesday at the age of 67 from a battle with a brain tumor, held the position of sheriff from 2003 to 2016, and was a beloved figure in the Geauga County community--along with his K-9 partner Midge.
"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," the McClelland family wrote in an obituary. "After appearances on Good Morning America, Fox and Friends, the Today Show and others, Midge’s popularity soared around the country and the world."
Sadly, 3News was able to confirm that Midge died just hours after her owner Wednesday afternoon. The family told 3News that Sheriff McClelland and Midge will be buried together.
Visitation for McClelland is currently scheduled to take place at the Burr Funeral Home (116 South Street, Chardon, OH 44024) on Monday, April 19. The family will welcome guests from 12-3 p.m. and 6-9 p.m. In his honor, the King Kone ice cream truck will be there to serve visitors.
"Dan believed that you could never have too much ice cream, often taking his grandkids out for a cone twice in the same day," his family wrote.
McClelland's loved ones paid tribute to his 40 years of service in law enforcement, notably his calming presence in the aftermath of the 2012 Chardon High School shooting that took the lives of three students. During his 14 years as sheriff, he ran what he called "the biggest hotel in Geauga County."
"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," the obituary read. "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."
There will also be a "celebration of life" event held the following Saturday, April 24, at Guido's Pizza ~ Generations Event & Reception Center (12809 Chillicothe Road, Chesterland, OH 44026) at 2 p.m.
"To be able to work and serve where you grew up, where you went to school, where you raise your family, truly is special," McClelland told 3News in December of 2016 while discussing his retirement.
"Sheriff McClelland served the residents of Geauga County for 44 years with the last 13 years proudly serving as your Sheriff," the Geauga County Sheriff's Office posted on Facebook
McClelland is survived by his wife, Bev, a daughter, two sons nine grandchildren.