Butterworth John Butterworth, 63, Marion County's longest serving sheriff, passed away peacefully February 20, 2014 at home surrounded by his family. He had waged a valiant, yearlong fight against esophageal cancer. He served as sheriff from 1981 to 2004, retiring to start JP Henry Consulting. He then worked for the Ohio Department of Public Safety's Division of Homeland Security, serving as the division's Regions 1 and 4 Coordinator to its Strategic Analysis Information Center. In 2007, he authored the Northern Border initiative, which unites state, local and federal law enforcement partners for a safer border along Lake Erie. Born April 3, 1950 in Marion County to Hazel (Bradshaw) and Frank Butterworth, John spent his entire life in Marion but was happiest relaxing with friends and family at his Lake Erie home in Marblehead. He married the former Phyllis Sherrer on April 12, 1985. His wife survives; as do two sons, John B. (Laura) Butterworth of Mansfield, Robert H. Butterworth of Dublin; two grandchildren, Colton Frank and Gabrielle Mya Butterworth of Mansfield; a sister, Doris Decker of Marion; and a brother, Paul (Nancy) Ferguson of Marion. He was preceded in death by his parents, a brother Tom Ferguson and granddaughter Isabella Butterworth. An active member of St. Mary Catholic Church, John served as an extraordinary minister and lector. The 1968 Harding High School graduate also attended The Ohio State University. He was inducted into the Harding High School's Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame in 2009. As sheriff, John modernized office operations and oversaw implementation of Marion County's first 911 emergency system. He was a member of the National Sheriffs Association and Buckeye State Sheriffs Association, of which he was president in 1992. He also authored the Ohio State Sheriffs Qualification Act that became state law. The family will host calling hours from 3-8 p.m. Monday at the John M. Boler Activity Center, 590 Forest Lawn Drive, Marion. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Tuesday at St. Mary Catholic Church, 251 N. Main St. A private family graveside service will be conducted at a later date. GUNDER/HALL & FOLK FUNERAL DIRECTORS is handling arrangements. Memorial contributions may be made to Marion General Hospital Foundation's Hospice Fund or the Spirit of HOPE Fund, 268 Barks Road West, Marion, Ohio, 43302. Donations to either fund also can be made online by visiting https://www.ohiohealth.com/givingtomariongeneral/
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Gunder/Hall & Snyder Funeral Home
347 West Center Street
Marion, OH 43302
Published in The Columbus Dispatch on Feb. 23, 2014