ELIDA — He started his working career as a truck driver, later owned a sporting goods store, and went on to become an American Township trustee and Allen County commissioner.
Dan Reiff, 77, died Thursday at his home in Elida.
The soft-spoken Reiff was born and raised in Allen County. He graduated from Shawnee High School and was married to Judy for 45 years.
He was elected as an American Township Trustee in 1994 and was re-elected to a second and third terms.
In 2003, he was appointed to fill a vacant commissioner’s seat and then was re-elected for two full terms through 2012, after which he retired.
Those who worked with him admired his love for Allen County.
“Dan was just a positive man,” said Sam Bassitt, who served with Reiff as a commissioner for around 10 years. “It was that attitude that made him so productive in working with others.”
The Allen County Ohio Bar Association honored Reiff in 2017 with the Liberty Bell Award. The honor is bestowed upon a person who promotes a better understanding of the rule of law, encourages a greater respect for law and the courts, stimulates a sense of civic responsibility and contributes to good government in the community.
Reiff was active in many organizations, but one close to his heart was the Alzheimer’s Association Northwest Ohio Chapter as he lost his grandmother to Alzheimer’s disease. He was among a group of advocates in 2014 who headed to Washington, D.C. to lobby for research funding.
“The biggest problem is the strain it puts on the person caring for that individual,” Reiff said at the time. “As a person progresses deeper into the disease, the more care, the more watching they need. We want to keep that funding item alive and well, and it has been for a number of years.”
He carried that attitude on the many organizations and boards in which he was a member.
In April, staff at Allen County Children Services and employees from various Allen County offices showed their support and encouragement for the ailing Reiff by staging a drive-by-parade past his home to wish him well.
Reiff started his career as a truck driver for a firm in Lima. He went on to work for an area savings and loan company and a local bank as well writing an outdoors column for The Lima News. During that time, he began a small outdoor sports business, which grew into the area’s largest outfitter and outdoor store. He ran that business for more than 30 years.
Reiff served as president of the Allen County Regional Planning Commission and Executive Board. He chaired the Allen County Transportation Coordinating Committee and the Allen County Developmental Controls Committee. He served as the chairman of the Allen County Health Advisory Boards and on the Government Technical Advisory Committee at Lima Technical College. He also served with the Lima Area Development Corporation. He chaired and served on various local and national wildlife conservation organization boards and committees.
Services will begin at 11 a.m. Monday at Chamberlain-Huckeriede Funeral Home. Entombment will be in Memorial Park Mausoleum.
Friends may call from 2 to 8 p.m. Sunday at Chamberlain-Huckeriede Funeral Home.
Condolences may be expressed at www.chamberlainhuckeriede.com.