Highway dedicated to David D. Sturtz

| October 23, 2017

Elaine Sturtz, widow of David Sturtz, and his brothers, Jim and Ken, stand under the sign dedicating State Route 541 in his memory on Sunday, Oct. 22. Jen Jones | Beacon

COSHOCTON COUNTY – A beautiful fall afternoon welcomed the large crowd of family and friends attending the dedication ceremony of 22 miles of State Route 541 in honor of David D. Sturtz, Ohio’s first inspector general and Coshocton County native on Sunday, Oct. 22.

The ceremony was held near the intersection of SR 541 and 93 by the newly erected sign. Elaine Sturtz, David’s widow, welcomed the crowd and explained the significance of the empty lawn chair and coal bucket below the sign. “This was David’s favorite outdoor chair and his coal bucket.” Attendees were asked to bring a rock to the ceremony and place them in the bucket.

“David loved rock hunting. We spend many afternoons walking through plowed fields,” said Elaine. She wanted those rocks to be part of the dedication ceremony then she planned to take them to the other sign on 541 and place them around it.  The rocks were all different and some held special meaning to the person who placed it in the bucket.

“Stones represent the symbolic foundation of life. State Route 541 was so important in his life. He was born in Roscoe Village on a kitchen table. It passes streets he grew up on and the factory (Edmonts) that his mom worked in and Grace United Methodist Church. 541 represents the life of David Sturtz,” said Elaine.

Tom Rice said, “Dave touched millions of people in the state, whether they knew him or not. He was always working for the safety of others.” Sturtz graduated from the Ohio State Patrol Academy in 1959 and spent 31 years in the Ohio State Patrol.  He retired as a major and was appointed by Governor Richard Celeste as the state’s first inspector general.

“Dave lived his life in faith,” said Elaine. As a special tribute, Brooklyn, Makenna and Addisyn, Sturtz’s great-granddaughters, recited his favorite Bible verse, Joshua 1:9, and John 3:16.

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