Police Chief Daryl Lee Zornes



Daryl was born February 6, 1952 to Clarence Edward and Betty M. Zornes. He attended Milford High School, graduating in 1970. He also attended Cincinnati State College and in 1991 was inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa- International Honor Society.

Daryl began his service to the community as a firefighter for the Madison Place Fire Department/Life Squad for five years.

Daryl joined the Newtown Police Division as Patrolman in August 1973. He was promoted to Patrol/Administrative Sergeant in 1976. On May 24, 1987, he was appointed Chief of Police and held that position for 20 years. Chief Zornes’s cousin, Montgomery County Deputy Robert J. Thatcher was killed in the line of duty in 1952 and Chief Zornes was a member of Ohio Concerns of Police Survivors (COPS). He was elected Vice President of that organization in 1999 and served until 2003. Chief Zornes retired March 1, 2007 and continued as a Newtown Reserve Police Officer for at least another nine years.

Immediately after retiring, he entered the race for Newtown Village Council and on November 7, 2007 garnered the most votes of four candidates. In 2011, he was elected Vice Mayor. Vice Mayor Zornes was reelected continuously until November 2015 when he fell just a single vote short.

A member of the Fraternal Order of Police, Ohio Valley Lodge Number 112, he was elected Trustee in 2008. In 2012, he was elected as Labor Representative, Executive Board Secretary.

On July 16, 2012, he began working at the Hamilton County Coroner’s Office as a Night Clerk. He transitioned to fulltime Death Investigator on May 29, 2013. At the beginning of 2019, due to health issues, he went back to part time investigations on nights and weekends. He finally retired from law enforcement on December 22, 2022 with 55 years of service to his community and county.

Chief Zornes was also a member of the Newtown Civic League, Newtown Business Association, Newtown Veterans Assistance Association, and Gerard Masonic Lodge #428.

Chief Zornes was diagnosed with a terminal disease. He went into hospice care before mid-June. He died, surrounded by family, on June 19, 2024 at the age of 72.

He was predeceased by his brothers, Todd J. Zornes (2015) and Keith E. Zornes (2021). Chief Zornes is survived by his wife of 53 years, Wilma A. Zornes; daughters, Carla Ann Zornes, Caryl Lee Zornes, and Jennifer Lynn (James) Taylor; grandchildren, Haylee Clark, Katie McCormick, Adam Taylor, Maddie Clark, Conner Clark, and Jeremiah Taylor; and great-grandson, Robert Winglewish.

Visitation will be held 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday, June 28, 2024 at Megie Funeral Home at 529 Main Street in Milford. A Masonic service will be held at 7 p.m. A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. on June 29, 2024, with Pastor Michael Cornelius officiating. From there, a cortege will take his remains to a full police burial with honors at the Greenlawn Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to the Shriner’s Hospital.


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