Police Officer Thomas Edward Kellison
Tom was born May 13, 1933 in Lafayette, Indiana to John Joseph and Lloyd Genevieve (Crawford) Kellison. The family moved to Cincinnati in the early 1940s and Tom attended Roger Bacon High School, where, among other things, he learned Latin and Greek. He graduated in 1951.
While attending high school and until December 1951, Tom worked as a salesclerk at Steidel’s Pharmacy at Liberty and Vine; just down the street from his home at 24 W. Elder Street.
On January 10, 1952, during the Korean War, Tom joined the United States Navy. He attended U.S. Naval Hospital Corpsman School in Bainbridge, Maryland, learned first aid and minor surgery, and graduated in September 1952. He also worked as an ambulance driver and in medical stores. Soon after, he shipped out to Korea with the H & S Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine, 1st Marine Division. And practiced all phases of medical treatment, other than major surgery, for a 36-man platoon on the Korean front for more than two years. Hospital Corpsman Third Class Kellison was honorably discharged on January 5, 1956 with a Good Conduct medal.
From January 1956 to March 1958, Tom worked at Tri-State Service, Inc. at 1560 Harrison Avenue as a refrigeration engineer and repairman. He also attended the Ohio Mechanics Institute, learning refrigeration, and graduated in June 1957.
Tom joined the Cincinnati Police Division as a member of Police Recruit Class Number 35 on March 24, 1958. He was promoted to Patrolman on June 22, 1958, issued Badge 256, and assigned to District 2 (314 Broadway). He rotated to District 3 (3201 Warsaw Avenue) and District 1 (310 Lincoln Park Drive) in 1959 and 1960, respectively. On December 2, 1962, Patrolman Kellison was transferred to the elite Traffic Bureau. After ten years, he returned to District 1 on January 7, 1973. For years he was assigned to a Harley Davidson Police Special three-wheel motorcycle and was a well-known traffic officer at Sixth and Race Streets. Police Officer Kellison retired March 18, 1987 with almost 34 years of service to his country and community and 37 letters of commendation and/or appreciation including four from police chiefs and one from President Ronald Reagan.
Officer Kellison was also an artist with incredible, if somewhat unknown, talent. He often provided the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum with his creations for sale in their Gift Shop. When a plaster mold of the 1976 Cincinnati Police memorial statue was found in a basement and broken in three places, Officer Kellison repaired it and painted it. The statue now adorns the Museum at its entrance. His own basement is filled with many of his creations coming from his fertile mind.
During 2011, Officer Kellison had surgery to repair degenerating discs in his spine. The pain did not seem to be resolved, but it did not deter him from working on his and/or the Police Museum’s projects.
Tom died on September 7, 2021, apparently from congestive heart failure, at 88 years of age.
He is predeceased by his brother, Jim Kellison; sisters-in-law Rose Marie Kellison and Louise Kellison, and infant sister, Mary Kellison. Officer Kellison is survived by his wife of 50 years, Patricia (Rodgers) Kellison; daughter, Deane Kellison; and brothers, Bob (Sue) Kellison, Jerry Kellison, and John (Peggy) Kellison.
A visitation will be held at 10 a.m. on Monday, September 20, 2021 at St. Cecilia Church at 3105 Madison Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45209. A FOP service will be held at 11 a.m., followed by a Mass of Christian Burial.
Memorials may be made to the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum, 308 Reading Rd., Suite 201, Cincinnati, OH 45202, or Honor Flight Tri-State, 8627 Calumet Way, Cincinnati, OH 45249.
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