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Published: Sunday, 6/6/2004

Security supervisor was home repair whiz

OAK HARBOR, Ohio - Darald W. Rider, 66, a retired security supervisor of the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station who was a former police officer and sheriff's deputy reservist and who, most recently, was president of his local zoning board, died of cancer Friday in his home in Ottawa County's Salem Township.

Mr. Rider had lymphoma for two years.

He continued his public service as president of the Salem Township zoning board and in his own home building and remodeling business until the disease paralyzed him Feb. 29, said Brenda Wightman, his partner the last 21 years.

A proposed assessment by the county regional water system in the mid-1990s so upset him that he ran for county commissioner.

"He was trying to be the voice for everybody," Ms. Wightman said.

"Everybody was upset, but nobody wanted to get up and do anything about it."

He lost to incumbent Steve Arndt by fewer than 1,700 votes out of more than 16,000 cast and, though disappointed, "deep down he knew he did what he could, and he put up a fight for what he believed was right," Ms. Wightman said.

Mr. Rider grew up in Oak Harbor and attended Oak Harbor High School. He was an Army veteran and was stationed in Germany and Italy.

He made law enforcement his career. He was an Oak Harbor police officer before he worked at Davis-Besse, where he was security supervisor for much of his 18 years there.

He was a reserve deputy with the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department for 25 years and was a former member of the Portage Township Volunteer Fire Department.

In situations that caused others to panic, he would take charge, Ms. Wightman said, "and calm them down and organize everybody and get done what was needed."

When it came to home building and repair, "People called him day and night to fix things," she said. "He was the one who got it done and got it done right."

Mr. Rider played on area softball teams until he was 60, and he coached until he was 63. He rode in and organized rodeos for the Circle S Saddle Club for many years. "Everybody looked to him to have anything done, whether at work or play. He would get everything together and make it happen," she said.

"He came from nothing and ended up successful in everything he did. His strong will and determination drove him."

Also surviving are his daughters, Carol Lynch and Sharon Sterling; brothers, William and Gaylon Rider; sister, Barbara Lochotzki; two grandchildren, and a great-granddaughter.

Services will be at 1 p.m. Tuesday in the Crosser Mortuary, Oak Harbor, where the body will be after 2 p.m. today.

The family suggests tributes to the Ottawa County Transportation Agency or Heartland Hospice.



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