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

Well Deputy McElderry i have never met you but i'm pleased to say you have some wonderful kids! (not like you didn't know that already) I have become friends (really good friends) with your Daughter Jennifer and she is an amazing person! You would be so proud of who she has become and how great she looks! I"m so lucky to have met someone like her. Taylor is such a hoot. She has a funny sense of humor and always seems to crack me up. Very smart too if i might add. Blake i haven't met yet but i'm sure I will someday. If they are anything like you then i know you were a wonderful person! I'm saddened by the senseless act by the person who caused your death because it's most definately not fair to take someone who means a great deal to people away from them. I know there are going to be some difficult times ahead for your family with the anniversary of your death but i know you will be watching over them and guiding them and protecting and loving them still. Please also help them to be strong like you in a time of need. In the toughest times I have to say to not be sad because your gone but to be happy for all the love you showed to everyone and the time you spent with your family and friends and the many lives you have inspired. :)

God Speed my Friend!

Elizabeth (Jennifer's Friend)

November 22, 2011

Ok my favorite senior pic is actually #16...Jennifer and I were talking about the number 10 and it stuck in my head! Number 16 is the one!

Deb Nelson

July 20, 2011

Well I come here today to share about Taylor's senior pics...she is so beautiful! You know that but sometimes I just need to share anyway. I see it was just 9 days ago Taylor was here pouring her heart out to you...I am so glad she does. Taylor has matured so much in the last year and I miss her so much, but know she is where she needs to be. It's hard to believe she is 17 and in a month will be starting her senior year. She has great plans for college and I am so proud of her, as I know you are.

By the way #10 is so far my favorite senior pic so far! More pictures will be taken in the fall.

I was wondering...are you, Bill, Todd & Dean having the "wild animal feeds" in heaven? :)

Please continue to watch out for her, Blake & Jennifer.

Miss & think of you everyday.

Deb Nelson

July 20, 2011

The past hour i have set here in tears reading through all the reflections left. Even though it's been 8 years since my dad passed it still kills me to read these. Reading through these made me realize it was time to write because alot has changed. Now living in Bloomfield again i am reminded daily of my father, especially at work when people as who my parents are. The second i say Dennis McElderry i hear nothing but good things. Being back is a daily reminder of you dad and if i'm ever out walking or even driving i make it a habit to drive by the law center to see your memorials. People still today tell me how much i'm growing up to be like you and i take so much pride in that. Not having you around was very hard. Especially my last months in Ankeny. I'm sure things would be alot different if you were here and i wish i could change that. Me and Jennifer are closer than ever and i'm so happy about that. It was really hard not having her in Ankeny. Blake, i'm not sure what to say about him. I may be younger than him but i'm always trying to look out for him. I know he doesn't like it and thinks i'm in his business but honestly he reminds me of you more than anyone and losing him would be like losing you all over again. Grandpa is also a reminder of you and a month or so ago i was at Dean Eakins funeral and you were mentioned as his hardest worker and right when i heard your name i broke into tears. I was too young to realize how close you and Dean and grandpa were. But during the walk through at the end of the funeral i saw grandpa with tears in his eyes which broke my heart and i will never forget it. I try to keep in touch with them as much as possible and grandma always calls to see what's going on in my life (with her new cellphone might i add). I'm going to be starting my senior year soon, time really flys. I really wish you were still here but i know you're watching over me no matter where i go and you will ALWAYS be in my heart. I love you Dad. I will never forget the times we had.

Taylor McElderry
Youngest daughter

July 11, 2011

Eight years may have passed but I know that each and every day during that time there has not been a day that you have not been in someones thoughts. Those that love you dearly will carry your memory in their heart for as long as they walk this earth. You have not been forgotten.
"When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure." Author Unknown

Bob Gordon
Father of Chicago Officer: Michael P. Gordon, EOW: 8/8/04

January 4, 2011

Well i thought of you today like always and decided to check out the website. Its been a while since i have updated so i figured it was time, a lot has changed over the last 6 or so months its crazy. Blake moved out once he graduated, i was sad that he moved out but glad at the same time! He has really grown up fast, he has an appartment of his own and will be starting college in a couple weeks. I have to agree with Joss he looks a lot like you the older he gets. Taylor has moved back to DC and she is finishing school here. She has a job and is doing great!! She is growing into a beautiful young woman!! Its crazy to think that it was so long ago that your accident happened and how young we were, i remember it like it was yesterday!! Scott and i will be married for a year this month oh how time flies its crazy. I will be completely finished with school this month and will have my BA in criminal justice. Just as you were a motivator for me to go into criminal justice, i have decided not to use my degree at this time, i love my job right now, but theres no telling where the future will lead me. No grandbabies yet, i am sure some day :) well i supposed i have rambled on enough just know that i love you and miss you like crazy!!!

Jennifer Shively
Daughter

August 13, 2010

My sympathies to Sheriff McElderry's family, friends and coleagues. As Jocelyne said, he died so that others may live. I hope you figured that connection out by now.

SFC William L. Farrell
US Army Military Police Ret.

July 1, 2010

Rest in peace sir. Thank you for your service.

Sheriff Deputy
Covington County Sheriff Dept.

April 17, 2010

Well our baby is 16 today! Sweet Sixteen! She is so beautiful...of course you know that! She misses you but knows you are right there in her heart always. Thank you!

Deb Nelson

March 14, 2010

Well, i'm more than certain it wasn't an accident i stumbled upon this page. I was working on a research paper about a career i might like to pursue and of course being my daddy's little girl i chose criminal investigation. While looking up statistics about the subject this website popped up and i knew it was a sign i needed to write.
Just last semester i transfered to an new school called Des Moines Christian, and it is greater than ever. I love having the freedom to talk about God whenever i want. Reading some of these reflections got my heart really quickly. The second my dad's picture popped up tears started rolling down my face. Jennifer just recently got married to a great guy and they are happier then ever. i had the awesome priveledge of walking my sister down the isle. Blake, i don't see him or talk to him often but i wish we did talk more. He is 18 now and the thought of him going to college scares me greatly. Just the other day i was looking at old pictures and it made me remember all the good times us kids had together. From playstation to watching movies all night we shared laughs, fights, and tears. Being away from my sister and brother is so hard sometimes but soon i'll be able to drive down to see them. Mom and Jim just recently started coming to church with me and they are starting to find out who God is and i thank the Lord for that. Jocelyne it was great to see you at Jennifer's wedding, it really made me miss the old times. Hopefully me and Hunter will be up there sometime soon to see you! Everytime i go down to Davis County things seem to change. I went from knowing all the officers and easily stopping in the Law Center whenever i wanted but now i barely know any of them. Things change i guess.
But i think it's time to get back to my work.
I Love You Daddy And Miss You Sooo Muchh!

Taylor McElderry
Daughter

February 19, 2010

Dennis,

I keep saying I'm not going to recognize your EOW because you were so much more than how you died and yet with every year that passes I can't seem to forget. I miss you so much, even to this day. You taught me how to love, to be loved, and more importantly that I deserved all that "good stuff." Thank you for that. We shared so many laughs, so many conversations, and made so many memories in our short time together. As much as I try to focus on those good times, it's so hard not to remember how it was all ripped away in a matter of minutes. I was just looking at the scrapbook I made after you died. All the old cards & letters ... what I wouldn't give to be able to turn back time. I can't help but wonder what life would've been like had that night never happened. I know time marches on and you're still with me but God I miss you. I probably always will. I don't know what else to say anymore except that I love you, thanks for taking a chance on me way back when and for all that you brought into my life. You truly are amazing.

Sending you lots of love and hugs,

Joss :)

Jocelyne (Dennis' fiancee)
"Forever Remembering 26-3"

January 3, 2010

Dennis,
Thanks so much for your service and sacrifice to the people of Davis County! It's so evident that you loved your job of serving and protecting our community. You may not remember me but I'm one of the Teubel gals that grew up south of Drakesville---yup a DC bumpkin. The last time I remember speaking to you was when the Sheriff's office was located in the old Gamble's building. I stopped by just to chat/ask questions about an incident. Living on the Drakesville blacktop at the time, I'd see the different sheriff cars go by----sometimes at normal speed, others with lights on full speed ahead to their call of duty. I usually felt a sense of safety knowing that Monte and his crew were out making our area a safer place to live!

Until January 3, 2003 I really only knew of you as a guy that was in my brother Dennis class, grew up in Drakesville, had a few children and worked as a Deputy Sheriff. Interesting how much your death on that cold January night changed too many things. The tragedy just stunned us all!!! I'm so glad your family decided to leave your casket open for viewing----I needed that to help process some of the issues I came to talk to you about. Your visitation, funeral (especially the songs, poems and throngs of people) and the procession of law enforcement vehicles was so hauntingly amazing----it touched me deeply. And then I got to know you better through your dearest friend Jocelyn-----what a gem, what a trooper! And while going through her own living hell of losing you, she reached out to some many others that lost loved ones in law enforcement! It breaks my heart that death had to separate such a love that the two of you have! Dennis, your time was cut short and yet it warms my heart to hear about the love you and Jocelyn share. Some people search a lifetime and never find that!

Thanks again for all you've done to protect and serve,
Nancy Teubel, class of 1980

Nancy Teubel
Davis County bumpkin

January 1, 2010

Well Dennis, I’m here spending a quiet evening at home. I’m not quite sick but I feel like I’m coming down with something and trying to avoid it . All I really have is a low grade fever right now. I’m hoping it doesn’t become something more. You know that feeling where time’s going super slow and you just don’t have the energy to do much of anything? Anyhow, I was just sitting here and you came to mind. I was remembering one of the first times I was down to visit and I got sick. I remembered how you stayed up all night to make sure I was okay. It was sweet. I was trying to avoid going to the doctor but eventually you made sure I got there. You had court that morning so you were in uniform. After looking at the both of us people probably thought I was a prisoner you hauled in for a doctor’s visit! I couldn’t help but laugh. While I was waiting for the doctor you went off to the courthouse and asked me to meet you at the Law Center when I was done. I was sitting there wondering how the heck I was going to find the Law Center when I almost passed out. They had to call you to come get me and when you got there you found me asleep in the doctor’s office. Turned out it was a good thing you’d brought me in because it could’ve ended up being something worse if you hadn‘t. You were always looking out for me. I really miss that. Just knowing you were there always made things seem that much better. So many memories.

I was back in Iowa this summer to watch Jennifer walk down the aisle and it was full of memories. Can you believe your oldest baby is married? It hardly seems possible! I can’t help but be reminded of when I first met Jennifer. She was probably 13 and still trying to figure out who she was. I remember her going to check her timetable for the upcoming school year and coming back and telling me when she got home that when she was there she heard some boys ask, “Who’s the hot girl over there?” She told me she looked around and realized they were talking about her because there were no other girls around. That surprised her. She never thought of herself as the “hot girl.” Most girls don’t I guess. She probably doesn’t even remember telling me that story but it‘s one of my first memories of her. That, and her spending a good half hour telling me how to make “snickerdoodles!“ I still haven’t made them. I really should someday. I have so many memories of Jennifer and all the kids over the years. It’s been interesting watching them grow up, even from a distance. There have been a lot of bumps along the road and I’m sure a few guys and crushes that you weren’t too fond of but I really think she’s found a good guy. I don’t know Scott that well but he makes her happy and I’m sure he’ll do whatever he can to make sure Jennifer stays happy. The “hot girl” is now a wife and someday a mother, and who knows what else life holds in store for her. Jennifer’s finally starting to come into her own. Granted she still has a lot to learn but she has a better sense of who she is and what she wants out of life and is working hard to get there. You have to be proud of her as you are of all the kids. They are great kids!

Blake is so grown up now. Dawn sent me the link so order Blake’s senior photos not too long ago and I have to tell you he’s so handsome! Everyday I see more of you in him. He’s still got that innocence in his eyes. I hope he never loses that. Blake had a few shots taken with Grandpa and I think it’s great that they’re still so close. Your dad’s great about reminding Blake about what’s important in life and I think he needs someone to help keep him grounded sometimes. Blake’s at that age where he’s still trying to find himself, as most teenagers are. Blake a good kid but he gets himself into trouble every now and then and I hope he’s learning from those experiences. Blake’s got so much potential to do great things and I have faith that in the end he will make the right choices in life to be able to do those things. Blake will be graduating high school this year and I’m not sure what his plans are but I hope that you’ll continue to keep watching over him and guide him and the girls in the right direction. No matter how old they are they’ll always need their dad.

Taylor’s growing up too. I think she was what 6/7 years old when I first met her? Now she’s 15 and beautiful as always. Always smiling, Taylor’s just as happy mudding around with the guys as she is getting all dressed up and hanging with the girls. She’s become quite the world traveler heading to Australia last year and Austria this year. Taylor’s been exploring her faith more and even went on a mission trip this summer. She’s becoming quite a well rounded young lady! Taylor’s got a lot of big ideas about what she wants to do when she gets older though as you know nothing‘s written in stone. I’m sure whatever she chooses to do she’ll excel at. Taylor’s a hard worker. When I was down, Taylor was learning how to drive! I was a little nervous about it at first but I ended up letting her drive us to church and she did awesome. Maybe sometime she, Jennifer, and Blake can drive up to visit me. It would be nice to show them around up here sometime. I always felt bad that you and I never had the time to do more sightseeing up here like we’d planned.

Back to the wedding, the wedding was just as beautiful as the bride was! It was a blessing being included in the day. Even though you weren’t there you were very much a part of it. Jennifer made sure of it. Blake and Taylor walked Jennifer down the aisle and afterwards Jennifer lit a candle in your memory. It was perfect. I was doing fine until they did a slide show with pictures of Jennifer and Scott growing up and the tears started flowing. Looking at the pictures I saw just how much you were there for, just how much you’ve missed over the years, and just how much you are still missed. The kids may not talk about you as much anymore but it’s very obvious in the things they say and a lot of times in the things they don’t say that they miss you. We all do. Do you remember the necklace and ring you gave me on my birthday? I gave the necklace to Jennifer on her wedding day just before the ceremony. I kept the ring. I told her that she didn’t have to wear the necklace but that I wanted her to have something to know that no matter what happened in life you and I were always with her, on her wedding day and everyday. Plus she got married on her birthday and we have the same birthstone so it worked out great. All in all it was a nice day and even though you weren’t physically there I know you were there. I felt it.

A couple of weeks ago I was watching a movie with Sally Field where she becomes a vigilante of sorts, trying to bring her daughter’s killer to justice. While I was watching it I found myself thinking about the night you were killed. I hadn’t thought about that night in a long time. I remembered that dreaded knock at the door, I remembered seeing the pain in the kids eyes, and I started thinking about what would’ve happened had I done a lot of the things Sally Field had done in order to find justice. Later that night I went online only to find out the kid you were chasing the night you were killed was in trouble once again. Funny the timing of it all. Ironically, he was involved in another high speed chase in another county. This one was very similar to the one you were killed in but this time it ended up with very different results. From what I understand he was shot and last I heard was fighting for his life. I haven’t heard any updates since then. They say what goes around comes around. Was this karma? A lot of people said that he got what he deserved; his family was blaming everyone and their mother; and I wasn’t sure what to feel. I wanted to feel angry but no matter how I looked at it, it was just sad. Sad that he hadn’t learnt his lesson after spending time in jail; sad that so many people were still so angry about how you died; sad that his actions affected so many people. I realized that I never took the time to deal with my own feelings about how you died. I was always so focused on taking care of everyone else that to me how you died wasn’t important. Even when he was first charged with vehicular manslaughter after you died I found it hard to be angry at him because I knew when he set out that night he didn’t intend for someone to die and yet someone did - you. When I spoke at his sentencing I said I didn’t hold any ill will towards him because I know this wasn’t intentional but that he needed to be accountable to for his actions. He started the chain of events that led to your death. No one knows 100% what happened that night and it’s entirely possible that night that you made mistakes that put you in the wrong place at the wrong time, who knows. If you were here and you did anything wrong I’d know you’d be the first to admit to it. That’s just the kind of man you were. I know given everything that happened you’d want him to own up to his mistakes too. That’s all I wanted. The amount of jail time was irrelevant. It wasn’t going to bring you back. When I spoke I wanted him to be accountable know that the choices he made affected so many more people than just himself. I’d hope he’d learn from that for everyone’s safety. It looks like those words fell on deaf ears. Not long after you died I had this lady do a reading of sorts. She claims to connect with the “spirit world” and she said a lot of things that gave me comfort but one of the things she said that I didn’t quite understand at the time was that you “died so that someone else could live.” At first I thought maybe it was so that the kids or that I could live. It goes without saying that your death changed the course of our lives forever. But after hearing about this second high speed chase I wondered if maybe you died so that “he” could live. A second chance to clean up his life and fly right. It's twisted, but could it be? Why you? I don’t know. Maybe she was wrong. I just know I keep trying to make sense of this all, trying to understand. I don’t know that I ever will. I should really stop thinking about it. I’m just thinking out loud here but I just can’t seem to shake this feeling of sadness for everyone involved. I hope that someday even if we don’t find understanding, we’ll all find peace.

As you can tell, it’s been an emotionally charged last few months for me with trying to make sense of recent events in Iowa, trying to deal with some pretty heavy family stuff, plus the anniversary of both my dad’s passing and my good friend Doreen. (I really hope you’ve met up with them both. They were both good people in their own ways.) It’s been tough. I’ve been throwing myself into my work and spending more time with friends. I find keeping busy helps. I’m blessed to have some great friends but at the same time I’m still missing that one person who’s always there for me. The one who makes everything all worthwhile. You were that person. After six years of searching I still haven’t found that person. I still hold out hope that I will find him. But until I find him, thanks for continuing to be with me and sending me signs that you’re still here. It means more to me than you’ll ever know.


Sending lots of love and hugs to Heaven,

Joss : )
__________________________________________________________

TO WHERE YOU ARE
By: Josh Groban

Who can say for certain
Maybe you're still here
I feel you all around me
Your memory's so clear
Deep in the stillness
I can hear you speak
You're still an inspiration
Can it be

That you are my forever love
And you are watching over me
From up above
Fly me up to where you are
Beyond the distant star
I wish upon tonight
To see you smile
If only for a while to know you're there
A breath away's not far to where you are

Lie gently sleeping
Here inside my dream
And isn't faith believing
All power can't be seen
As my heart holds you
Just one beat away
I cherish all you gave me
Everyday

Cause you are my forever love
Watching me from up above
And I believe that angels breathe
And that love will live on
And never leave
Fly me up to where you are
Beyond the distant star
I wish upon tonight
To see you smile
If only for a while to know you're there
A breath away's not far to where you are

I know you're there
A breath away's not far to where you are

Jocelyne (Dennis' Fiancée)
"Forever Remembering 26-3"

November 2, 2009

Deputy McElderry-
Thank you for your service. Your dedication and sacrifice will never be forgotten. It is plainly obvious you were a great cop, but more important a great family man. Judging by Jocelyn's reflections both here and on other pages and her extreme dedication to helping others overcome fallen loved ones, you must have been one hell of a Fiance. Rest easy Deputy, Keep an eye on us down here. We'll be seein you on the other side.

Miss Brar-
I knew neither you nor Deputy Mc Elderry, however I have to say you are both Heros in my eyes. I have seen many of the reflections you have left for almost every officer that has fallen in the past few years and I am amazed. They always say it takes a special kind of woman to be with a cop, but you have continued his dedication and commitment to help people in a time of need and desperation and I commend you for that. You are also a true Hero to all of those who have lost an officer and received your sympathy. Deputy Mcelderry was truly a lucky man to have you by his side. God bless you.

Deputy and Firefighter
Southwest Florida

September 8, 2009

A hero is gone, but will NEVER be forgotten. Jocelyne and the rest of your family and friends remain in our thoughts and prayers down here in Florida.

Rest easy Deputy

Deputy Sheriff
Glades County Florida

August 15, 2009

Joycelyn & to Dennis's family,

I missed the anniversary this year on the passing of Deputy McElderry. I hope you are all doing well. I never got to meet any of you but my dad knew the farmer that Dennis worked for. I was in Davis County in May watching my younger brother accept his high school diploma. I can only imagine how its been on you all. I hope and pray you all are doing very well. May Dennis and all of the other fallen officers continue their watch from the streets of heaven.

God Bless!!!!

Tonya Stephenson
Private Citizen, Former Iowan, Borger, Texas

June 12, 2009

You will never be forgotten by your Police Brothers and Sisters. Thank you for service to your country and to your community. Rest in peace Brother.You are a hero.
This is a poem by Jon F. Hooper i think is appropriate

I AM A WARRIOR
I stand with God. I fight not for glory or fame, for they are momentary.
I fight for those who can’t. I fight for Justice.
I fight for the oppressed and the downtrodden.
And if I should lose my life for these just causes, then I have no regrets, for I serve to protect the innocent.
It matters not where or when, for evil knows no boundaries.
Be it fire, flood, or the threat of tyranny, I will not flee.
Justice is my weapon. Faith is my shield. Hope is my armor.
Cry not at my passing, for it was my honor to fight for you.
Shed not tears of sorrow, but tears of joy:
For now, I stand with God!

Colin Davies D/C 6745 (Ret)
Toronto Police Service (Canada)

March 28, 2009

In a few short hours our baby will turn 15! Taylor is growing into a most beautiful, talented, and loving woman. I know you are proud of her, just as I am. She will be taking another trip abroad this summer...not as long and not quite as far away...Austria! Taylor will be traveling with the People to People Sports Ambassadors and will particpate in the Youth Friendship Games this July! What an awesome opportunity for her. Keep her safe as she travels and I will give her a hug and kiss for you.

Deb

March 13, 2009

Jocelyn,

I just wanted to thank you for your kind words of comfort to others who mourn. May God bless you and keep you.

Friend of Off. Kris Fairbanks RIP 9-20-08

K.L.

February 28, 2009

Forgive me for missing the anniversary of your E.O.W., but I felt as though I could not continue to read about so many tragedies. I now realize the visit each day to leave a word of encouragement and hope to the loved ones of others, helps me to remember that I am not alone with my pain and heartbreak. So may I say to your friends and loved ones that my thoughts and prayers are with them now and always. Continue to keep watch over them and those still out on patrol and may they know you will never be forgotten.

James Sheppard
Father of Sgt. Jason L. Sheppard EOW 12/7/06

February 23, 2009

Forgive me for missing the anniversary of your E.O.W., but I felt as though I could not continue to read about so many tragedies. I now realize the visit each day to leave a word of encouragement and hope to the loved ones of others, helps me to remember that I am not alone with my pain and heartbreak. So may I say to your friends and loved ones that my thoughts and prayers are with them now and always. Continue to keep watch over them and those still out on patrol and may they know you will never be forgotten.

James Sheppard
Father of Sgt. Jason L. Sheppard EOW 12/7/06

February 23, 2009

Rest in peace Dennis, you are gone but not forgotten...

Sergeant Chris DiToro
NYPD

January 7, 2009

Jocelyne- I thought of you and Dennis's family all weekend. It really doesn't get easier does it? I really don't think time heals all wounds, but I think that time makes it easier to breathe and live. Sending you hugs.

Gypsy
Friend

January 4, 2009

May you rest in peace and may The Lord bless you and all your loved ones.

Anonymous

January 3, 2009

Dennis,

It is hard to believe 6 years ago today was the last time I saw you. Blake is 17 today! He has turned into quite a young man. Yesterday as we were headed to Ottumwa we were talking and I turned to look at him as he spoke and wow it was like I looked at you for a second.

I know you are always in their hearts.

Deb
ex-wife

December 30, 2008

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.