Mellor retires after 44 years

Mellor retires after 44 years
Dave Mast

After 44 years of working for and serving and protecting the people of Holmes County, Jeff Mellor, Holmes County adult probation officer, will retire and enter a new phase of life.


Forty-four years is a long time to work in one entity, but for Jeff Mellor, 44 years of serving in Holmes County as both a Holmes County sheriff’s officer and a key member of the Holmes County Adult Probation Court has been an enjoyable memory that comes down to one main objective.

“Both of those jobs are about keeping the people of Holmes County safe, and I can’t think of anything I’d rather do or anywhere I’d rather live and serve than here in Holmes County,” Mellor said. “I have lots of old memories of the past 44 years; I just don’t know how many of them are true anymore. And when I was young, this really formed and defined my personality. I might be an entirely different person if I’d chosen some other profession.”

Mellor served his final official day with the county on Friday, June 30 and will look back fondly on his days of serving Holmes County.

Mellor graduated from West Holmes High School in 1979 and immediately dove into the world of serving others when he took on a role as a sheriff’s deputy.

However, that step was one he never saw coming.

“I was really into CB radios back in high school, and the sheriff’s office was looking for a dispatcher, and my then-girlfriend’s brother suggested I might be a good fit for the job,” Mellor said.

The sheriff’s office interviewed Mellor, and he was hired before he graduated high school. On June 11, 1979, he began his career there, but he was under the belief he would be a volunteer staff member serving as a dispatcher.

“When I was hired, I thought I was going to be a civilian employee,” Mellor said. “When I was a kid, I was interested in law enforcement, but I had no idea I was going to be a deputy sheriff until they called me in to get my uniform.”

Civilians receive a brown uniform. The one Mellor was given was black, meaning he was now a bona fide deputy.

After nine years with the department, Mellor was recruited to work with the Holmes County Probate Court as a probate officer and has been performing those duties for the past 35 years.

Born and raised in Holmes County, Mellor said he always had a desire to live in and serve Holmes County in some capacity.

“The law-enforcement job is never easy, but I stuck with it,” Mellor said. “One thing about me is I’m not a quitter and I like to see things through, and through all of this, I’ve had an interesting life. This is what I know, and I’ve gotten to see and do some things that most people never experience.”

In his career Mellor was the first Holmes County sheriff’s deputy to attend Corrections Academy, and he also was the first 18-year-old to be selected to serve as a deputy in the county.

In honoring Mellor, the Holmes County commissioners passed a proclamation on Monday, June 26, honoring Mellor for his decades of employment with the county.

“We don’t normally do this for all of our retiring employees, but 44 years is pretty special,” commissioner Joe Miller said.

Ray Eyler said Mellor has always been available and pleasant to work with, and he said it is rare in today’s world to have someone work at something for 44 years.

“I’ve known him for many years, and I wish him the best in his retirement,” Eyler said.

Commissioner Dave Hall went to kindergarten and graduated with Mellor, and he said he recalls Mellor talking about making a career of serving Holmes County.

“He’s always been very professional,” Hall said of Mellor. “It’s good to have someone who can mentor staff.”

When Mellor makes up his mind to do something, he sticks with it. For 44 years he has worked for the county, and for the past 40 years, he has had his wife Kathy by his side. He said upon retiring they look forward to exploring the great outdoors as they move to their next phase of their lives together.

Mellor said he also will work part-time at J&L Sports in Berlin, and as a certified firearms instructor with the State of Ohio, he hopes he can add value to the business in that capacity.

Mellor said he also will remain connected with the probate court in a minor capacity by performing the yearly qualifications, along with those from the dog warden’s office and the juvenile court.

“It’s hard to quit something you’ve been doing for this many years,” Mellor said. “It’s a big step for me, but I’m excited about this next phase of my life.

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