Thursday, Apr 26, 2018
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Clay Center man served 46 years in public office

CLAY CENTER - Richard G. Iffland, 82, who held elected office for 46 years in the Ottawa County village he called home, died Thursday in Genoa Retirement Village after developing a series of infections.

He did not seek re-election and retired in 2008 as Clay Center clerk-treasurer, a post he held since 1993.

"He was well-liked in the community," Mayor Bob Purney said. "He was just a common person who could get along with anybody here. He knew a lot of people and how to get things done."

Mr. Iffland was a newcomer to the village in 1962 - he and his wife had moved in two years earlier - when he was asked to fill a vacancy on council. He ran successfully for council thereafter, serving until 1993.

"He was one of those guys who liked to get involved in things," his son, Terry, said. "They used to have a Fourth of July celebration, and it was a big deal for the community. The council and the fire department worked on it together."

Mr. Iffland knew well how the village worked and how records should be kept when in 1993 he was asked to step in to replace the previous clerk-treasurer, who was set to retire.

"When he took the job, it was all still ledger books," his son said. "He was deeply involved in the process of automating the books."

Mr. Iffland took classes in Columbus and converted accounting and record-keeping to computer.

"For a small town, that's a big deal," his son said. "He took pride on the accuracy with which he kept the books for the auditors."

Mr. Iffland was trustee emeritus of the Genoa Area Local Schools Scholarship Foundation. His sons had been students in the system, and he was eager to help in 1991 when the group was founded.

Even this spring, he reviewed students' scholarship applications.

"He really enjoyed seeing that scholarship foundation grow and talked about how it was great they could provide some type of aid to kids," his son said.

Born June 1, 1927, to Hazel and Henry Iffland, he grew up on a farm in Ottawa County's Clay Township and in Lucas County's Jerusalem Township.

He was a 1945 graduate of Clay High School. He drove a delivery truck, among other jobs, until he was hired by the Libbey-Owens-Ford Co. in Rossford. He made plate glass and, later, was promoted to an office job, helping place orders for construction jobs and making sure the proper glass was delivered on time.

While driving with family or when a city's skyline appeared on television, he pointed out landmarks that his company contributed to.

"He would look at buildings and say, 'That has

L-O-F glass.' It was a pride thing," his son said.

Mr. Iffland retired in the early 1990s after 37 years.

He was a member of Zion United Methodist Church in Elliston and had been on the youth fellowship and building committees.

He was a member of Topics Camera Club and liked to take pictures of wildlife and farm life and high school basketball games at Genoa.

A skilled baker, his specialties were cinnamon rolls and caramel-pecan rolls.

"He made dozens of rolls he would give away to people, and they were always really good," his son said.

Surviving are his wife, Lynn, whom he married March 25, 1960; sons, Terry and Bruce; brother, Glenn, and two grandsons.

The body will be in the Robinson-Walker Funeral Home, Genoa, after 2 p.m. tomorrow. Services will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday in Zion United Methodist Church, Elliston.

The family suggests tributes to the Genoa Area Schools Scholarship Foundation or the church.

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