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‘Our dad was bigger than life’: Former Fairfield police chief dies at 83

Gary Rednour.webp
Posted at 8:38 AM, May 04, 2021

FAIRFIELD, Ohio — The Journal-News reports that Gary Rednour, who served Fairfield for 36 years as a police officer, including the final 20 years as the city’s police chief, has died. He was 83.

After his retirement in 1999, he went back to work as a corrections officer with the Butler County Sheriff’s Office for eight years. Rednour died on Sunday, May 2 at home with his family.

“I found him very supportive of being the new fire chief, and I found it was a pleasure to work with him,” said Fairfield Fire Chief and Acting City Manager Don Bennett. Rednour was police chief when Bennett was hired as fire chief in 1984.

Rednour lived to serve and take care of others, according to his family. He passed that passion for police service to three of his sons ― Michael, Kevin and Brian ― all of whom became officers for the Fairfield Police Department.

“I cannot think of anything in terms of pride that you made that type of impression on three of your sons to enter in that field,” Bennett said.

Rednour served for four years in the U.S. Navy, including time spent on the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt. He was honorably discharged in 1960.

Rednour was born in July 1937 in Monticello, Ky., and was a Hamilton High School graduate. He is survived by his children Sharon (Gary) Sheets, Michael Rednour, Kevin (Amy) Rednour, Elizabeth Thomas, Missy (Tod) Hosmer, Debbie Rednour and Brian (Christen) Rednour. He was known as “Pap” to his 11 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He was a storyteller and played Santa every year for his children and grandchildren.

“Gary was a wonderful father and grandfather,” his family said in a statement. “For many years he was the master of the backyard barbecue and the 4th of July has become an epic party with the Fairfield fireworks every year which he proclaimed were in honor of his birthday.

“Our dad was bigger than life and his passing has left a huge hole in our family. He will be forever in our hearts and sadly missed.”

He is also survived by sisters Pauline Baumgartner, Margie Carter, Katie Leptak and Norma Nafe; brother Jim Rednour; and many nieces, nephews and extended family.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 52 years, Gloria Jean (Phillips) Rednour, his parents, sisters Josie Whitaker and Opal Blanton, and brother Danny Rednour.

Visitation is set for 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Avance Funeral Home, 4976 Winton Road, Fairfield. The funeral service is set for 10:30 a.m. Thursday at Avance, followed by burial at Rose Hill Burial Park. Memorial donations may be made to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, 230 East Ohio St., Suite 500, Chicago, Illinois 60611.

The Journal-News is a media partner of WCPO 9 News.