Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Deputy Sheriff Dennis Ray McElderry

Davis County Sheriff's Department, Iowa

End of Watch Friday, January 3, 2003

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Deputy Sheriff Dennis Ray McElderry

Dear Deputy Dennis, I never met you but your fiancee Jocelyn, wrote a special reflection on my brothers memorial page.It was so special all the things that she had said about my brother,that I just had to reply. She is a very special lady,I can tell just by her words, she was so devoted to you and your kids. We are in the same boat,and fill as though we are drowning,without the special guys in our lives. I really hope that you have met my sweet brother. And I know that you both are looking down on us all. we can feel your strength. And we so need it.At this time in our lives. I see that you have been with our sweet Lord for a few years. Please show my brother around up there.My sister Sandy is also there to.Please, will you both take care of each other for us.I know you will. It has only been two months since Tony has been gone from us.I set and wonder and hope that the pain will get easier, My heart aches so badly,And i can tell that Jocelyn's aches everyday for you. You guys were our hero's and will always be our Hero's. God Bless YOU and my sweet brother. A friend, Madonna K Andrews ,Sister of Cprl.Anthony M. Andrews

Madonna K. Andrews
Friend

June 12, 2006

WAITING AT THE GATE
(A conversation between the Lord and Archangel Michael.)

"Lord?"

"Yes, Michael?"

"What troubles you so?"

"Look there. Do you see that man?"

"Yes, Lord. What is he doing?"

"He's dying."

"Was he a soldier? I see he wears a uniform."

"Of sorts, yes. That badge he's wearing, I remember the first one he put on. It was many years ago, when he was only a child. That one was just a toy."

"For whom did he fight, Lord?"

"For many. He stood for those who could not stand for themselves, and for others not so deserving. The ones that loved him, and the ones that did not. In many ways, he and his kind, are like you, Michael."

"Archangels?"

"No, but they do battle for good, against the evil that lives there."

"Why is he dying there all alone?"

"You see that (road) there?"

"Yes, Lord."

"He answered a call to that (road). One of the dark souls, a lost one, was (there). The lost one took the life I gave ... and ran away. You see, good does not always triumph there."

"Could you not stand between them, Lord?"

"I always stand beside him, and those like him, but I do not always stand between them and the danger that awaits them. That is just the way of things."

"I do not recognize his face, Lord. I do not think I have seen him in your house to worship."

"He did not come often, but he spoke to me everyday. He always kept a place for me in his heart, so I have kept a place for him, here. Him and many like him."

"Tears, Lord? Do you weep for this man's death?"

"Not for the man, but for his family. See, there, the children asleep in their beds, and the young woman (with the hopes and dreams she) carries. I weep for them, and their life without him."

"I'm sorry, Lord. Is there something I can do?"

"Yes. Go and meet him at the gate, and tell him to come see me here. I have something for him."

"Yes, Lord, right away."

"And, Michael."

"Yes, Lord?"

"Just wait there, there will be another one along in awhile."

June 10, 2006

Joycelyn,

I have been reading through the site and most of the reflections you have been leaving not only for the officer we lost in Colorado Springs but throughout the country. I am truly inspired by the amount of time you take to post to the other families who are suffering the same way you did. Being the spouse of an officer I can only imagine the pain you felt then and still. I find it amazing and courageous that you have found a way to move on with your life instead of letting Dennis' death get the best of you. I know that must have been hard to pick up and move on without him but you are truly an and inspiration to the spouses and families that life is possible after losing someone close to you.
I have read everything in Dennis' reflections about your love for him and his kids and think it is wonderful that you are staying in touch with his family because they need you to. Thank you for having spirit to keep Dennis' memory alive and for reaching out to the other departments that have lost brothers and sisters of their own.

Erin
Wife of a CSPD Officer

June 9, 2006

hey dad i just thought like writing you it always seems to help when im having a rough time in my life. i never thought that i could ever feel the pain of losing like i did with you but losing some one with out actually losing them is pretty bad. Its hard to do , not having a deputy in my life everyday is quite a change. i havent lost him completly but it hurts like i have. Dont worry im doing ok if you taught me anything its to be stong and im doing pretty good job of it. Dont worry he treated me well and there will always be a place in my heart for him as there will be for you!! Love you dad

Jennifer
oldest daughter

June 6, 2006

Dear Joycelyn and kids,

I never met Deputy McElderry but as a former citizen of Iowa it saddens me that 3 years ago your loved one was taken and can never be brought back.

As I read the Reflections posted from near and far. I hope that you all can find peace and love that you felt whenever Deputy McElderry was around you.

Good luck in the college Jennifer, and to you siblings. May all your hope & dreams come true.

Tonya Stephenson
Former Davis County Iowa Resident

Tonya Stephenson
Private Citizen, PA

June 3, 2006

Hey Sweetie,

Boy Dennis, you sure have some sort of hold on me. It’s been over three years since you’ve been gone and you’re still the first thing that pops into my mind when I get up in the morning. It’s crazy. As hard as I try, I can’t seen to escape your memory. I thought that by moving out of the house and away from Iowa that living without you would be somehow easier and that all the hurt and all the memories would not be so "in your face," but that hasn't been the case. No matter where I go or what I do there's always something there to remind me. Something that always brings me back to you. It never fails.

I don’t know why but somehow songs always remind me of you. I know music wasn't a big part of our relationship, but somehow it seems to be the one thing that always seems to bring back memories. I remember just before Christmas I was sitting on the bus, listening to my walkman on the way home from work, when a song came on that just "brought me to my knees" so to speak. I thought I was doing well where your being gone was concerned but all of a sudden I knew that I wasn’t. I don’t even remember what song it was, but I remember trying hard to fight back the tears. For some reason the memories just came flooding back. As I was sat there reminiscing something just made me look up. When I did, I noticed this guy getting off the bus. This man looked me directly in the eyes and gives me the biggest smile you could imagine. Normally a smile wouldn't be a big deal. I get lots of smiles in my day, but this one was different. It could‘ve been the timing, but I think it was something more. This might sound crazy, but I’ll swear that when I looked at this man's eyes for that brief moment I could've sworn I was looking straight into yours. I hadn’t seen those beautiful brown eyes in a long time and all of a sudden there they were smiling back at me. I couldn’t believe it. Seeing those eyes gave me chills and at the same time it was kind comforting too because it reminded me you were still around me. I got off the bus a couple of stops later and as I walked home those eyes were just engrained in my mind. I thought about the timing of it all and I realized you'd just sent me a huge sign. That smile and those eyes, at just the right time, were trying to tell me you wanted me to "smile at the memories" and to be happy that they happened instead of being saddened by them like I had been for so long. I guess I’d always known I needed to do that, but somehow I had lost sight of that. Thanks sending me the kick in the pants and for the reminder that you’re still around me. It's interesting how something as simple as a smile can put everything into perspective and make all the difference. Don’t get me wrong, I still have days when I’m overcome with sadness and I miss you like you wouldn’t believe, but more and more I’m having days where I remember to smile too and that’s huge.

You know Dennis, “goodbye” has always been so hard for me. I remember when they first told us to say our final goodbyes at the funeral home. I don’t know why, but I couldn’t do it. I was overcome with tears and I think I said everything but goodbye. Ever since that day I’ve been really struggling with saying that final “goodbye” to you. You know how much I hate that word! What’s made it worse is that since you’ve been gone people keep telling me it was time to let go, say goodbye, and to go out and find someone else to settle down with. Someone even said once, “he’s dead get over it!“ Like somehow it wasn’t okay anymore for me (because you were “just my fiancé”) to keep loving, remembering, and holding on to you because you were no longer with us. As if it were just that easy to let you go. It wasn‘t like we‘d just broken up because one of us wanted to. Up until the second you died we had plans to spend the rest of our lives together. Then all of a sudden I was expected to forget all that? I’m not sure that’s even possible. It took me almost three years of struggling with “goodbye” and a conversation with a friend to really feel like maybe that’s what I really needed to do. I don’t know why, but after talking to this person it just hit me that that’s what you wanted me to do - to say goodbye. Saying “goodbye’ was always so important to you and I don‘t know but all of a sudden it just seemed like the right thing to do and the right time. It was a freeing feeling and at the same time I felt like in realizing that you wanted me to say goodbye that I had kind of already let you go. It was like a weight off my shoulders, but at the same time knowing what you need to do and doing it are two different things. While I’ve said goodbye to you in certain aspects of my life, like putting away pictures or other mementos, I haven’t been able to bring myself to say the words. In my last message to you I wrote that I was having trouble finding the words to say what was in my heart. That’s because what was my in my heart at the time was “goodbye.” I don’t know if I will ever be able to find the courage and strength to say it officially. You’re still etched in my heart and on my mind and as hard as I try I can’t erase that. Thankfully, I met someone recently who quickly reminded me that you’re forever a part of me and of who I am. I shouldn’t have to change who I am and that I don’t necessarily have to say goodbye to you. Maybe he’s right. I mean how do you let go of the person who’s forever changed your life and touched your heart and soul in ways that no one else has? Maybe you can’t. There are ways to let go of the ties that bind without having to cut them completely. I guess what I’ve decided so far is that I’m going to try to say goodbye to the all the sadness I’ve been walking around with. I’m going to try to focus on using your memory as a strength and a reason to smile rather than letting it keep me down. I’m trying to find a place for you in my life that isn’t full of sadness. I don’t know what else to do.

I was talking to Hunter on MSN the last week I think and just out of the blue she asked me if I met a new guy yet. I guess after three years people expect you to have moved on. I will say I have met a couple of people over the last while, I haven’t let myself get really close to anyone. No one even holds a candle to you so. What I learnt recently is that no one ever will. There was only one you and only one me and what we shared together was unique. Whatever I end up sharing with someone else could be just as good but it will be different because one of the two people in the relationship will be different. It’s kind of scary opening myself up to the possibility of building a life with someone that isn’t you, but more and more I am find myself more open to the idea. Maybe someday someone will see some of what you saw in me and want to share a life with me. I hold out hope, but who knows what the future holds. I’m just trying to learn to be contented with what I have in life. Anything and anyone else who becomes a part of it in the future is just an added blessing. I will say that I am just so grateful that I got to share what little time I did with you. It was amazing. I am forever changed and a better person for having been able to share in your life. I hope you know that no matter what happens in my life you will always mean the world to me. You will always have a place in my life. The same holds true for the kids and everyone else in Iowa. “Iowa” as I call it, will always own a piece of my heart.

Speaking of the kids, you’ve probably noticed the last few times I’ve written I haven’t mentioned them. I love them and I think about them everyday, but in all honesty, I just haven’t really heard from them a lot since I moved back home other than the odd time I catch them online. I’ve tried keeping in touch, but I don’t know if it’s the distance or the fact that they’re getting older and their lives are getting busier or what? But we just haven’t kept in touch like I‘d hoped we‘d be. It breaks my heart sometimes. I just try to make the most of whatever time I get with them. I feel bad sometimes though because I know when we first started building a life together I promised you I’d always be there for you and the kids and now somehow it seems like I dropped the ball as far as the kids are concerned. I am hoping to be down to visit sometime this summer and hopefully I’ll get a chance to reconnect with the kids and catch up with all that is going on in their lives. I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since I’ve been down to visit. I had plans to come down to visit sooner but with my dad dying plans changed. I miss Jennifer, Blake, Taylor and everyone down there like you wouldn’t believe. A part of me will always be down there. I hope the kids know that even though we are miles apart I would do anything for them. I will always be there to support them no matter what directions their lives take them as long as they‘ll let me.

I do get updates from your mom and others every now and again and for the most part it sounds like the kids are doing well. From what I understand Jennifer is enjoying college, she started a new job, and she and Mat seem to be getting along really well. I’ve never really had a conversation with Mat but from the little I do know it’s easy to see that he’s very much a man in love. I always say if your hearts in the right place the rest will fall into place. It’s pretty obvious that his heart is with Jennifer and I guess as a dad you can’t ask for more than someone who’s willing to give your daughter his best. Sounds like Jennifer’s in good hands. I haven’t heard from Blake in a few months. I talked to him online for a few minutes one night and he’d told me he’d gotten his school permit and had just gotten his first part time job. He sounded pretty excited about it all. When I called Taylor to wish her a Happy Birthday back in March she said Blake had gone on a school trip to Washington, DC. I think that was probably his first major trip anywhere. I’m sure he had a good time. I hope Blake got a chance to see the police memorial while he was out there. I always felt bad the kids never made it to Police Week when the guys and I went. Taylor is growing up just as fast as Blake and Jennifer are. She emailed me and it sounds like sports and her friends are keeping her busy. She still has her mind set on being a veterinarian. School’s almost out and I know Taylor was pretty excited about it being summer. She showed me some pictures of her and boy Dennis, Taylor is really is turning out to be a beautiful young lady. I’m sure you’d be proud of her just as I’m sure you are of all of your kids. You always were. Funny, I guess I knew more about what was going on with the kids than I thought. I still miss them though and I miss being a part of their everyday lives. Somehow, catching up with them once every few months hardly seems like enough. It’s comforting knowing that you’re still there always watching over them. I always know that whatever they end up doing they’ll always be safe because you’ll be looking out for them and guiding them in the right direction.

Anyhow, it looks like I’ve written yet another novel here so I think I’d better end my letter here. : ) I really hate having to talk to you this way. I wish you were here. There’s so much I need to say that can’t be put into a letter. Just know that you are forever missed, thought of, and loved. We maybe be worlds apart but our souls are forever connected.

Love you,

Joss : )

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

HOW DO I LET GO?
By: Lisa Brokop

I've got pictures and letters
And a few other things you've left behind
I'm surrounded by memories I can't erase from my mind
Yet I don't know where to start
Nobody said it would be so hard

How do I let go
How can I face this world alone
Now I'm holdin' on for dear life
But life won't let me, I know
So how do I let go

Do I run out and look for
Another someone just to hold
Or stay under the covers
Never come out until I'm old
I'll do whatever it takes
Somebody please just show me the way

How do I let go
How can I face this world alone
Now I'm holdin' on for dear life
But life won't let me, I know
So how do I let go

How do I break the ties
When they run straight from your soul to mine

How do I let go
How can I face this world alone
Now I'm holdin' on for dear life
But life won't let me, I know
So how do I let go

Oh how do I let go

Jocelyne Brar (Winnipeg, MB Canada)
Dennis' fiancée

May 21, 2006

Dennis, there will never be an April Fools day go by without me remembering 'Ben Had'. I miss you still.

Vicki

March 28, 2006

To Deputy Dennis McElderry and his loved ones:

Please know that your memory is honored and revered today.

My heart goes out to your family. You’re in our thoughts and our prayers.
Reading the loving reflections about your beloved Dennis gives us some understanding of what a kind and honorable man he was, and how much he was loved.

Dennis, you rescued us, saved our possessions, our lives and our families. You are one of the rare heroes among us. You were always there for us in the most traumatic moments of our lives. No matter when we called, we just expected that you would come and do whatever it took to help us, and you always met our expectations. Your selflessness and dedication are awe-inspiring.

This world, this country, your community truly are better places because of you. To have lost you is a great tragedy, an irreplaceable, immeasurable loss for society. We are grateful for and to you, and honor you for all you did for us day in and day out whether you received a word of thanks or praise.

Rest in Peace, Deputy McElderry. I am humbled by your valor, courage, and dedication.

This reflection is sent with the utmost respect for the distinquished service Dennis gave to his community and the citizens of Iowa, and for the supreme sacrifice he and his family made on January 3, 2003.

Phyllis Loya, mother of fallen officer Larry Lasater, Pittsburg PD, eow 4/24/05






March 22, 2006

Dear Jocelyne,
Just wanted to let you know that I'm thinking about you and Dennis' family. I keep you in my daily prayers. I'm sending you a hug, lots of care bear stares, and love from FL to Canada.
Much love,
Kelly

Kelly Gillain
OfficerDownSignificantOthers

March 1, 2006

Thank you Deputy Dennis for your service and dedication. You shall always be loved, remembered and never forgotten.
To Deputy Dennis' fiancé. Through your many reflections I can see that you really loved Dennis and miss him dearly. He was no ordinary person, he was that special spark in your day and now that he is gone you miss him dearly but are also very proud of him at the sametime. I wish more people had the same type of love you had for Dennis for one another. Thank you.

Khalif Student

February 20, 2006

HEY DENNIS
I WENT TO BED LAST NIGHT AND JEN TOLD ME SHE HAD LEFT A REFLECTION SO HERE I AM READING THEM IM TEARS. YOU KNOW AS WELL AS I DO DENNIS THAT THIS IS A HARD TIME FOR JEN I SURE FOT BLAKE AND TAYLOR AS WELL BUT I DONT GET TO SEE THEM LIKE I DO JEN. SHE TOLD ME LAST NIGHT SOMETHINGS THAT ILL KEEP BETWEEN THE THREE OF US. JUST LET HER KNOW DENNIS YOUR STILL HERE. YOU KNOW DENNIS PEOPLE ASK ME ALL THE TIME WHY I BECAME A COP AND WHY I DO THE JOB BEFORE I DIDNT HAVE A PERFECT ANSWER BUT NOW I I HAVE IT "READ THE REFLECTIIONS AND IF YOU DONT CRY FINDING THE ANSWER YOULL NEVER FIND IT"

DEPUTY MATHEW SCHARFF 26-4
DAVIS CO. SHERIFF'S OFFICE

January 15, 2006

Dad,
Well its been an extremly long 3 years with out you here. This time of year just seems to get harder and harder for me although most would think that it would get easier. Sorry I havent wrote on here for a while it always seems so hard to pour out my feelings when ever every one else will read them but thats ok. Things have been pretty hard this year, you know mom dealing with that was almost enough, Ive been so emotional, there are pictures and reminders of you all over the house. I didnt think that it would be that hard living there but theres time when i just look around the house and remember how it used to be when you were there. I have missed you so much. This new years was extremly difficult for me and i dont really know why but my friends were there for me and it was a quick fix for feeling better.
Im going to school now its the winter term criminal justice but its all really interesting, it must be in my blood because i love school for once in my life. Mat is doing good, he's a constant reminder of what it's like living with a Deputy. He has really helped me a lot with growing up, i guess someone has to do it, but dont worry i'll always be your little girl. Shelby and i got flowers to put on your grave on the 3rd they were really pretty i hope you liked them.
Dad i cant even explain how many times that i just wish that everything that has happened could be a bad dream, but when i wake up its all still the same. I wish i could be like jocelyne but i havent made peace with the fact that your gone yet, I thought that i had but i catch my self alot of the time getting on these sites, seeing a picture or something that reminds me of you and just end up crying!
Well i guess that ill get off here now i hope everythings going well.... mats been taking really good care of me, youd really like him, i wish you could have met him. Talk to you later.... keep watching over me!
I love you dad!
Jennifer Leigh

Jennifer McElderry
Daughter

January 14, 2006

Well we have just past an anniversary date, yours Dennis on the 3rd and my son's on the 1st. For us it has been 8 years, can that be possible? I still look up and tell him how sorry I am that this happened to him, he had so much going for him.
I just read the letter Jocelyn wrote and would like to convey that your helping her has been a blessing!! We have found that to be true in our lives. Your children I am sure have experienced you in their lives in many ways, through dreams or just a sense of knowing that you are watching over them and helping to guide them. No words here can really help those that were left behind to struggle with their pain, anger, grief and confusion - but time does bring peace and hope. For all we can be thankful that your lives touched our lives (though not long enough - we have been blessed!). May God continue to bless your loved ones.

Larie Minnery
mother of officer John Kevin Lamm EOW 1-1-98

January 11, 2006

Deputy McElderry,

As the anniversary of your death passes we remember you and your sacrifice. My condolences to Deputy McElderry's children, parents, family, and fiancee. Know that Deputy McElderry was a hero and will not be forgotten.

"We Remember the Officers"

We remember the officers who changed our lives,
The men and woman who protected us day and night,
People who respect for their dedication to the cause,
For when faced with danger, they never even pause.

We remember the officers who always stood true,
Whatever the color of uniform - red, brown, green or blue,
With pride and integrity they say "To serve and protect",
For the giving of their life, we offer our respect.

We remember the officers who we never really knew,
Persons strong enough to answer the challenge are few,
With heavy hearts we mourn the officers in eternal rest,
There's more to these people than the badge on their chest.

- Author: Unknown

RCMP Constable
British Columbia, Canada

January 5, 2006

Dennis,

Today marked the three-year anniversary of your death. I can’t believe sometimes that it’s been three years since I last saw your smile, held your hand, and touched your face. Three years. Today at 11:55pm (the time of your death) I sat down in front of this computer with every intention of writing a message to you like I always do. Well it’s now a couple of hours later and I’m still staring at this screen trying to find a way to put my feelings into words, but somehow the words just aren't coming to me. It’s so frustrating because I know what I’m feeling, but somehow I just can’t seem to get the words out. I guess it doesn’t matter if I write or not, I know you are around me everyday and watching over me from above. I get little “signs” from you all the time. I know that even though you’re not physically with me you know what's in my heart and on my mind even if I don't say it or write it. Then again, you always did have that uncanny ability to read my thoughts. You’d know if I was having a good or bad day even before I had to say a word most times. I remember telling you once after you’d told me you loved me for the hundredth time that I felt bad because I didn’t say “I Love You” nearly as often as you did. You told me I didn’t have to say the words - you just knew. You said that I said it in so many other ways that I didn’t even realize – that it was in my thoughts and my actions even if it wasn’t in my words. I pray that was the case. I hope you’ve been paying attention to what’s on in my heart these days. As my life moves forward, I hope you know how much you are still loved and missed even three years later. I hope you know how blessed I feel to have been able to share a part of my life with you. A part of who I am, maybe even the best part of me, is because of you. You made such a difference in my life Dennis and I won’t ever forget that. I won’t ever forget the man that you were. Today and everyday I will continue to celebrate your life and remember the man that you were.

You know Dennis, a part of me wishes I could go back in time to that last day I spent with you and just stay in that day forever. Part of me probably always will long for that day. It was such a beautiful day. To be honest with you, I lived for a long time with the secret hope that some day I’d wake up and this whole nightmare would end and we’d be right back living the life we had planned together. It would have been a great life, but as awesome as that thought would be, it’s taken me three years to really accept the fact that that just isn’t going to happen. It’s taken me this long to understand that life can still be good even without you in it. I guess in the back of my mind I’ve always known this but, for the first time in my life I truly understand it and am at peace with that fact. There was a time when I never thought I’d be able to say that. You told me on more than one occasion that all you wanted in life was for me to be happy even if that meant me being happy without you in my life. I don’t know that I will ever be completely happy that you’re not in my life but I’m trying. I’m finding myself finally starting to really live and enjoy life again. I’m starting to see the beauty in life and to embrace it. Doors that previously seemed closed are now opened and I’m walking through as many of them as possible. It’s been an interesting experience. I’ve found a renewed sense of “hope” in a way I never imagined and I know you had a hand in strategically placing this person and others in my life to help restore “hope” to me. When you died, I really felt like all hope died with you. It’s nice to know that “hope” is still there and that you’re still there. I hope I never lose sight of that “hope” again. It was dark and lonely living without it. I’m glad to be able to see the “light” finally. As you can tell, this past year Dennis has been a real awakening for me in a lot of ways. You’ve helped to put people in my path who’ve helped to give me the “gifts” of healing, of self-discovery, and most importantly of letting go and I thank you for that. I know all you wanted for me in life was to be happy and I am going to do my best to make that happen not just for you, but for myself also. I finally “see” that I deserve that.

It’s been a tough year Dennis for many reasons but with the love and strength you’ve sent me I’ve somehow found a way to make it through. I hope you will continue to send strength and watch over me and the kids, your parents, sisters, coworkers, and everyone else who knew and loved you. I hope you’ve had the opportunity to meet up with my dad up there. Maybe you two can work some magic and send strength to my family as we find a way to carry on without dad in our lives. I know you didn’t know him well and only met him a few times but he thought a lot about you. After he met you he was really trying to convince me to marry you. Dad thought you were a good man and he said if we were going to live together we might as well be married. We’d already known we were getting married but I didn’t want him thinking it was his idea that I was getting married. (I know it sounds stupid but, I’m stubborn!) I remember sitting there trying to convince him that there was nothing wrong with just living with someone. LOL I’m sure he understands now that we were already married in our hearts long before the subject of marriage ever came up. Anyway, if you haven’t met up with him look for him. Dad can be a little hard headed sometimes but I’m sure he could use a special angel to show him the ropes up there.

Speaking of angels, I know you’re probably pretty busy up there but if you can, look out Robert Ambrose, Jay Balchunas, William Bell, Josh Blyler, Andre Booker, Keith Cannon, Jeremy Carruth, Owen Fisher, Cole Martin, Patrick Righi-Barnard, Joey Rodgers, Glenn Searles, Nick Sloan, Daniel Starks, Scott Stewart, Brian Strouse, Roy Turner Jr., Jonathan Walsh, and Gene Wright. (I hope I didn’t miss anyone!) I’ve had a chance to connect with the women these fallen officers loved this past year or so. They are all amazing women who have become great friends. They are all still hurting over the loss of their guys and are working very hard to find peace in their lives. I know this isn’t a very manly thing to do but I was thinking maybe you guys could get together and send us all one big huge Care Bear Stare and lots of light! I really feel like 2006 is the year for big changes for all of us and I’m thinking we could really use the positive energy to help get us through this New Year without you guys at our sides and all the changes that life has in store for us.

Well Dennis, I guess I should end here. Thank you once again for letting me ramble on. I guess I found more words than I thought! When I find a way to put the rest of what’s in my heart on paper I will write again. Until then, know that I will be thinking of you. Our hearts are forever connected.

Love ya!


Joss : ).

PS: Thanks to all of you who have left condolences or words of support on this site and on Dennis’ other memorial pages. You are all super awesome. It seems like whenever I’m missing Dennis I come online and there’s another message of encouragement and support. It has really helped to make those cloudy days a little brighter and to bring a few smiles. Thank you so much. In your actions you have proven that there are “Angels among us.”

~ * ~ *~ *~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *~ *~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *~ *~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *~ *~ * ~ * ~

(Dennis, Thank you for being there for me not just in life but in the after life as well. As the song goes, “In my heart there always be a place for you … And everywhere I am there you’ll be.”)

THERE YOU’LL BE
Lyrics from: Faith Hill

When I think back on these times,
And the dreams we left behind,
I'll be glad cause I was blessed to get,
To have you in my life,

When I look back on these days,
I look and see your face,
You were right there for me.

In my dreams I've always seen you soar above the sky,
In my heart there'll always be a place for you,
For all my life,
I'll keep a part of you with me,
And everywhere I am there you'll be,
and everywhere I am there you'll be,

Well you showed me how it feels,
To feel the sky within my reach,
And I always will remember all,
The strength you gave to me,
Your love made me make it through,
Ohh I owe so much to you,
You were right there for me.

Cause I always saw you in my life, my strength,
And I wanna thank you now for all the ways,
You were right there for me, you were right there for me
Always!!

In my dreams I've always seen you soar above the sky,
In my heart there'll always be a place for you,
For all my life,
I'll keep a part of you with me,
And everywhere I am there you'll be,
And everywhere I am there you'll be,
There You'll Be

Jocelyne
Dennis' Fiancée

January 4, 2006

Three years ago the world changed for many of your loved ones. They miss you dearly. Thanks to Joss many have come to know about what made you the person that you were here on earth, and the spirit you continue to be. Continue to shine down on Joss. We have the watch from here. Gob bless you.

disabled peace officer

January 4, 2006

At the beginning of every shift I supervise, myself and the other officers on shift dedicate the day to the memory of a fallen officer.

Tonight, January 3, 2006 we dedicated the shift to the memory of Deputy Sheriff Dennis Ray McElderry who died in the line of duty on this date three years ago.

When one law enforcement officer falls, we all stumble for a while, but we will carry on.

Deputy McElderry’s sacrifice will never be forgotten.

Sgt. Paul Bissonnette
Royal Canadian Mounted Police - Surrey, BC

January 3, 2006

Dear Dennis,
Continue to send your love, from above, to Jocelyne. I know that you are with her always....

Dear Joss,
I received your Christmas card today. Thank you. It came at the perfect time. It seems that you always send me something when I need it most...and I really needed it today. I love the guardian angel pin. I will keep it forever and always think of you. Even though you are miles away, you know how I feel and you bless me daily. Thank you for all of your encouragement today and for all the previous days. I have said this a million times, but I will say it again...It is evident in everything you say and do, why Dennis chose you to spend his life with and why he loved you so much. He will forever be proud of his Jocelyne. You have done a tremendous job in keeping his memory alive and showing the world what an incredible man Dennis was. May the Lord continue to shine His face upon you. Your friendship is a wonderful gift.

Much love,
Kelly
*S/O Deputy Sheriff Joshua Blyler (EOW: 5.2.04)

Kelly Gillain
OfficerDownSignificantOthers

December 23, 2005

Dennis,

Thank you for send your Joss some happiness. She's a very special woman and an inspiration to many.

Say hi to my Scott. I know you are in great company and will have a very merry christmas in heaven.

Joss, thank you for sharing Dennis with us.

Much Love,
Many Hugs and Care-bear stares,
Monica
Fiancee Scott Stewart EOW 8-11-02 Detroit

Monica

December 8, 2005

Dear Dennis,
Continue to send Jocelyne messages from heaven, especially as she grieves the death of her father. She has found strength in the love you gave her and knows you are with her. I know you are with her also. You will forever be remembered, Dennis......

Jocelyne,
Sending you a lifetime supply of care bear stares. :0)

Much love,
Kelly
*S/O Joshua Blyler EOW: 5.2.04

Kelly Gillain
OfficerDownSignificantOthers

November 9, 2005

To Jocelyne, I come to this site every day and read the reflections of the many men and women officers who gave their lives for us. This is my way of knowing them through their stories and never letting them be forgotten. Many, many reflections I read I see posts from you on there. Saying a kind word of comfort to families that you don't know or know by tragedey. You are a very special person Jocelyne. In your own grief of losing your life partner, looking beyond your own hurt and showing others that someone cares and will listen. Dennis was very lucky to have you in his life. Although I'm sure I wouldn;t have to tell him. I don't know why things like this happen to good people. I try and vision it as we are left here to morn, saying "there he goes" those loved ones that have gone on before I picture we're crying tears of joy, and with excitment saying "here he comes!"
I hope you always find some comfort in knowing that he IS a TRUE HERO. I do believe that you will walk hand in hand again with Dennis one beautiful day! God Bless

OHIO

November 8, 2005

When I Get Where I'm Going
Performed By: Brad Paisley & Dolly Parton

When I get where I'm going
On the far side of the sky
The first thing that I'm gonna do
Is spread my wings and fly.

I'm gonna land beside a lion
And run my fingers through his mane
Or I might find out what it's like
To ride a drop of rain.

Chorus:
Yeah, when I get where I'm going
There'll be only happy tears
I will shed the sins and struggles
I have carried all these years
And I'll leave my heart wide open
I will love and have no fear
Yeah when I get where I'm going
Don't cry for me down here.

I'm gonna walk with my grand daddy
And he'll match me step for step
And I'll tell him how I missed him
Every minute since he left
Then I'll hug his neck.

Chorus:
Yeah, when I get where I'm going
There'll be only happy tears
I will shed the sins and struggles
I have carried all these years
And I'll leave my heart wide open
I will love and have no fear
Yeah when I get where I'm going
Don't cry for me down here.

So much pain and so much darkness
In this world we stumble through
All these questions I can't answer
So much work to do.

But when I get where I'm going
And I see my maker's face
I'll stand forever in the light
Of his amazing grace
Yeah when I get where I'm going
There'll be only happy tears
Hallelujah
I will love and have no fear
When I get where I'm going
Yeah, when I get where I'm going...


(Enjoy where you ARE Dennis. Ride a drop of rain for me.)

Forever a Friend

October 22, 2005

"Who You’d Be Today"

Sunny days seem to hurt the most
I wear the pain like a heavy coat
I feel you everywhere I go
I see your smile
I see your face
I hear you laughing in the rain
I still can’t believe you’re gone
It aint fair you died too young
Like the story that had just begun
But death tore the pages all away
God knows how I miss you
All the hell that I’ve been through
Just knowing no one could take your place
Sometimes I wonder who you’d be today
Would you see the world?
Would you chase your dreams?
Settle down with a family
I wonder what would you name your babies
Some days the sky’s so blue
I feel like I can talk to you
I know it might sound crazy
It aint fair you died too young
Like a story that had just begun
But death tore the pages all away
God knows how I miss you
All the hell that I’ve been through
Just knowing no one could take your place
Sometimes I wonder who you’d be today
Today (repeats 5 more times)
Sunny days seem to hurt the most
I wear the pain like a heavy coat
The only thing that gives me hope
Is I know I’ll see you again some day
Some day
Some day

Police Officer
Iowa

September 24, 2005

Dennis,
It's been a while since my last posting. I was drawn to your page, once again, thinking of Jocelyne and you. I want you to know that I am sending Jocelyne as many "care bear stares" as I possibly can since you are not able to be here with her. She has become so strong through this tragedy and has helped so many others with their grief. She has especially comforted me through my loss of Josh. Your memory lives on through her and she continues to share your incredible legacy. I will forever remember the name, Dennis McElderry, and the sacrafice you made. You will never be forgotten.

Jocelyne,
You are a light that brightens many dark days. You are in my thoughts and prayers. I am sending more care bear stares your way.

Love & prayers,
Kelly
(Josh Blyler EOW: 5.2.04)

Kelly Gillain
OfficerDownSignificantOthers

September 20, 2005

Dear Dennis,
Jocelyne left a reflection on my son's page and I am trying to repay the honor and gratitude back that she gave to us. Matthew is and was the light of our lives as I can tell you were to your family. The Brotherhood of Law Enforcement is in a word amazing. I knew my son loved what he did but I never thought he would lose his life doing it. Mainly because he always said, "Mom, I'll be ok." And I believed him. From now until we are reunited with him in eternity we will honor him and his profession and all that walk the same walk--his brotherhood in blue. God bless you and your family, and your sacrifice for all of us.
Love,
Matt's Mom Forever

Linda Rittenhouse
Mother of Jesse Matthew Rittenhouse E.O.W. 9/16/04

August 23, 2005

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.