Roland E. "Ron" Fleming, 79 of Vermilion, died Sunday, April 13, 2008, in Englewood, Fla.
He was born May 28, 1928, in Birmingham, Ohio. He joined the Vermilion Police Department as a patrolman in 1955.
He served as chief of police from 1967-89. He was instrumental in starting the harbor patrol and donated the use of his own boat until the city bought one.
He was a charter member of the F.O.P. Lodge 125, Vermilion. He started Safety Town and obtained a grant to establish the juvenile officer position.
He was past president of the Lorain County Police Chiefs Association and an officer of both the Ohio Chiefs Association and the National Chiefs Association.
He sat on the board of control that oversaw both Lorain County MEG (anti-drug) Narcotics Unit and the five-county North Star Unit.
He was instrumental in starting the Vermilion ambulance service and all officers were trained as EMTAs and some as paramedics. Under his direction, the department grew to 25 full-time persons and approximately 40 part-time officers.
The Vermilion ambulance garage was dedicated to him. He was a fair and honorable man who always encouraged his officers to further their education.
He was a member of Vermilion Rotary where he was awarded a Paul Harris Fellow.
He was a former member ofVermilion Investment Club and Vermilion Fish and Game.
After retirement, he workedpart-time for Riddle Funeral Home.
He is survived by his wife of 35 years, Jacqueline (Gabriel); daughter, Gloria Morin of Lorain; sons, Roland E. (Nancy) Fleming and Randy E. Fleming, both of Holiday, Fla. and Russell of Vermilion; step-daughters, Valerie (Paul) Toil of Greenwood La., Vicki Gilbert of Englewood, Fla., and Vanessa Wuitowicz of Vermilion; granddaughters, Teri (Mitch) Davis of New Port Ritchie, Fla., Becky (Ken) Caple of Odessa, Fla., Danielle Morin, San Antonio, Meggan Fleming, Vermilion, Brandy Oney, Marshall, Texas, Melissa Gilbert, Terre Haute, Ind., Amberly Shoman, Vermilion and Debra Wuitowicz, Vermilion; grandsons, Reid Fleming of Holiday and Eric Scoles of Vermilion; seven great-grandchildren; sister, Kay Sommers, Vermilion; and nephews, Harold Sommers, Arizona, and Mark Sommers, Berlin Heights.
Preceding him in death were his parents, Roland and Lela (Cutlip) Fleming.
Friends may call from 1 p.m., Wednesday until memorial service at 3 p.m. in Riddle Funeral Home, 5345 South St., Vermilion.
The family suggests memorial contributions to the charity of the donor's choice.
Condolences may be sent atriddlefuneralhome.com.