The Greater Cincinnati Police Museum
“Preserving the History of Law Enforcement in the Greater Cincinnati Area”
Specialist Donald E. Schilling
Don was born July 23, 1939 in Cincinnati to Donald J. and Marie E. (Blake) Schilling. He attended Purcell High School, graduating in 1957. He also attended the University of Cincinnati, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice.
Between 1955 and 1958, he worked at Calvary Cemetery as a grave digger.
On June 23, 1957, he additionally joined the United States Army Reserves, completed basic training at Fort Knox, and completed basic artillery training at Fort Polk.
Don was appointed the 31st Police Cadet in Cincinnati Police Division history on April 14, 1958. He worked at Central Station (the city’s jail in City Hall) and on January 20, 1960 was recognized on the WSAI Police Officer of the Week program as Outstanding Cadet. During a particularly difficult competitive examination for Police Recruit, only 45 passed and Cadet Schilling had the highest score.
He was appointed Police Recruit on May 22, 1961. On August 28, 1961 he was promoted to Patrolman, issued Badge 841, and assigned to District 5 (1012 Ludlow Avenue). On January 1, 1963 Patrolman Schilling was rotated to District 3 (3201 Warsaw Avenue). On April 17, 1968 he was promoted to Police Specialist, issued Badge PS-114, and assigned to District 7 (813 Beecher Street). During the next eleven years, Specialist Schilling served in the Tactical Unit, Criminal Investigation Section (222 E. Central Parkway), and the District 3 Investigative Unit.
He transferred to the Intelligence Section on December 16, 1979. The section was disbanded, and he returned to District 3 during May 1984. He was assigned to what is colloquially known as “The Greatest Relief” where he was known for exceptional police work and an incredible sense of humor. He soon became the unofficial assigner of nicknames for fellow relief personnel. Specialist Schilling transferred to the Fraud Squad on March 2, 1986 where he was assigned some of the more complicated frauds due to his meticulous investigative techniques and was also revered by his peers.
He retired March 6, 1989 with 24 letters of appreciation and/or commendation; including by Delhi Police Chief Howard Makin, FBI Special Agent in Charge Thomas Kitchens, Cincinnati Police Chief Myron Leistler (x2), Cincinnati Fire Chief Bert Lugannani, City Manager William V. Donaldson, United States Attorney James Cissell (x2), Cincinnati Safety Director Michael Bierman, and Cincinnati Police Chief Lawrence Whalen.
Specialist Schilling had been working also for Cincinnati Public Schools since November 8, 1988. He continued to work for them and finally retired August 1, 2008, with fifty years of service to his country and community.
He also volunteered at the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum and was instrumental in the painting and preparation of the new Museum on Reading Road.
During 1998, Specialist Schilling contracted small cell lymphoma. He battled that and seemed to have won. However, he was hit by cancer again and by the end of October 2019 was under hospice car in Hildebrand Nursing Home. Specialist Schilling died at 2:30 a.m. on November 2, 2019.
He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Nancy (Koeninger) Schilling; sons, Jeff Schilling and Donald Schilling; grandchildren, Kristen Schilling, Leah Schilling, and Erin Schilling; and siblings, Patti Weis and Marriann Williams.
Visitation will be held 9 to 10 a.m. on Monday, November 11, 2019 at St. Simon Church at 825 Pontius Road in Delhi Township. A FOP service will be held at 9:45 a.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Immediately following the Mass, everyone is welcome to join the family for a reception at the church.
© All rights reserved to LT Stephen R. Kramer RET and the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum