Over the weekend Chillicothe lost two of its biggest advocates: Tom Douglas and Paul Howard. The deaths of the two city servants marked the second and third times in less than 10 months that the city has lost members of its leadership team.
“Through unprecedented circumstances, the City of Chillicothe has suffered the loss of two notable public servants at almost the same time,” Mayor Reed Dupy said in a statement. “Third Ward Councilman Tom Douglas and former Fourth Ward Councilman Paul Howard contributed much to the governmental operations for a number of years, and their accomplishments will be recognized for a lifetime.They will be missed by all those who were served by them.”
Tom Douglas, third ward city councilman died at his home on Jan. 25. Douglas served on the Chillicothe City Council for more than 20 years.
During his time on the council he worked tirelessly to advance the city and work to ensure residents of the third ward were well represented and their concerns addressed. City Administrator, Darin Chappell, said that Douglas had a special interest in the Chillicothe Fire Department and worked hard to make sure the fire department's needs were met and that they were recognized for their hard work. Douglas was recognized by the fire department in December for his years of work and advocacy.
Former Chillicothe Fourth Ward Councilman, Paul Howard, died Jan. 26 at his home following a battle with brain cancer. Howard served on the council nearly eight years. He was first elected to the council in 2009 and served one term, then returned to the council in 2013 and served until he resigned at the end of 2018 due to ongoing health issues.
During his time on the council. he focused on the best interests of his constituents of the fourth ward and overall welfare of Chillicothe. Howard was especially proud of the work he did during the building of the new Hedrick Medical Center, the Fire Training Center, and the new Life Flight Eagle hangar at the Chillicothe Municipal Airport.
Howard was also recognized for his work with the Chillicothe Fire Department in December.
During the Jan. 28 city council meeting the council took time to honor the lives and work of their friends and fellow council members.
“I am at a loss for words,” Wayne Cunningham, second ward councilman said. “It is such a tragic loss for the city and their families. They will never be out of our thoughts. Both served their country and city. They served with common sense and respect. What more can a man do?”
First Ward Councilman Denny Albertson said the loss of both men should serve as a reminder that life is short. “Think of the number of times we set right here and heard Tom talk about how in April he was going to load up his RV and head out,” he said. “Let this be a reminder that life is short and we just never know.”
Former Mayor, Chuck Haney died in May 2018 while his sixth term as Chillicothe’s mayor.