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

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.


January 4, 2009

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


January 3, 2009


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.


December 30, 2008

Missing you this Christmas Dennis. You're always in my heart.

Love ya Dear!

Joss :)


By: George Strait

I had no reason for shopping this season
But I hung your stocking today
It makes me feel better
Though we’re not together
You’ll always be in my heart
Merry Christmas, wherever you are

It’d be a perfect white Christmas
A storybook picture
If I could just share it with you
Though you’re not here with me
I’ve got your memories
They keep me goin’ sweetheart
Merry Christmas wherever you are

Though you’re not here with me
I’ve got your memories
You’ll always be in my heart
Merry Christmas wherever you are.

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

December 25, 2008

Thoughts are with you

friend of wife

December 23, 2008

I read your heartfelt message to Chuck Cassidy's ODMP and felt compelled to let you know we all appreciate the sacrifice you and the kids have given up, Dennis. My Dept. lost Officer Gregg in 2005. What a heartbreak. We are still picking up the pieces but messages like yours provide comfort to those of struggling at times.
Keeping you and your family in my prayers, Happy Thanksgiving. God Speed, Dennis.

Officer Colleen Rosenfeld
Newtown Borough P.D.

November 25, 2008

Thank-you sir for your service.


October 17, 2008

God Bless you Sir


October 17, 2008


I still remember the night that you had passed and the radio traffic. My heart sank when I found out that you were gone. I have always been inspired by you and know that you will always be watching our backs. God bless you.



September 22, 2008

hey dennis - just checking in on you here at odmp. for some reason you ran across my mind. i pray for joss all the time. she is so wonderful - im glad that you are sending her "signs"..
i hope you are enjoying Heaven and have met up with dan!
- jessica bankston


August 3, 2008


I know I was just here the other day but I just had to say thanks for the "sign" you sent me the other day. Well maybe it wasn't a sign, maybe it was just a huge coincidence, but I took it to be a sign and somehow it came just at the right time. With your birthday just recently gone by I'd been thinking about you and missing you a lot. I've also been dealing with a few stressful situations in my life and you always seem to come to mind when I'm trying to sort things out. You were always my rock, great at giving advice, but also great at listening so whenever something happens I always pray that you'll guide me in the right direction. A lot of times I find myself thinking, "What would Dennis do?" Actually, it’s pretty silly but sometimes when I'm conscious that you're around me I find myself having to be on "good behaviour" because I wonder what you'd think. I remember something so small as going through the Arby's drive thru once and the lady giving me too much change back. When I realized the mistake I had to drive back and give it to her, even though it was out of the way, because I knew you were watching me. It's funny this effect you've had on me. I guess if I’ve become a better person since you died, in part it will be because of you. : )

Anyhow, back to the sign, the other day I was driving home from work and I saw an Iowa license plate. I almost never see them up here, even though I know people from Iowa come up here. The last time I remember seeing one up here was when you were up to visit. That’s how long it’s been! Anyhow, seeing that plate after a stressful day seemed to calm me down. I followed the car for a bit and it turned off. Then a song came on the radio. I wasn’t paying much attention to it at first but when I turned the corner the song seemed to get louder and I found myself stopped at a red light. Driving right in front of me was a car with Manitoba plates on it that said JO MAC and my heart just leapt. What were the odds of seeing both those plates in sequence like that? As I drove following this car I made a point to listen to the words of the song and I knew this was too much of a coincidence. The song was about a man who was about to head off to war and he was giving his friends his final wishes just in case he didn’t make it back. The words hit close to home and when I got home I looked up the lyrics and realized it had to be a sign from you . A sign that you are still with me, at least some of the time, and I‘m so glad you‘re here. I want you to know I heard your message and I took those words to heart. Thanks for being here for me and for letting me know you‘re still looking out for me.

Sending you hugs, kisses, and all of my love,

Joss : )

PS: Call me crazy, but I do really believe all those coincidences rolled into had to be a sign. I looked up the words to the song and posted part of them here. I changed them around to relate to Dennis. I hope I did his message justice.

By: Tracy Lawrence

Have a ’Dew for me, don't waste no tears on me
On Friday night sit on the visitors side
And cheer for the kids teams.
Drive my patrol car, 90 miles an hour down gravel road
With 'Born to Run' blastin' on the radio
And find someone good enough for Jocelyne
Who will love her like I would have
If I don't make it back

If the good Lord calls me home
I'd like to think my friends
Will think about me when I'm gone …

"Forever Loving & Missing 26-3"

June 23, 2008

Hi Dennis,

I was just sitting here thinking about you and not just because today would’ve been your birthday. You’ve been on my mind a lot lately. I was actually in Iowa last week “making the rounds” and no matter where I ended up your memory is still everywhere. It may have been five years since you’ve been gone but people haven’t forgotten the person that you were and the difference you made in their lives.

You know, I always have panic attacks before I leave for Iowa. Given the distance and the time that’s passed I’m never quite sure where I fit down there and I always question whether or not I should keep coming down but once I get there I realize just how much it feels like home. People are very good about looking out for me, making sure I feel welcome, and trying to convince me to move back! Your mom, dad, and sisters always open up their homes to me; the Harsch’s have kind of adopted me; people at the Law Center still make a point to reach out to me; and the kids always make a point to make some time for me even with their busy schedules. It’s such a blessing that they continue to make me a part of their lives. They’ve all become a part of my “family” and I always say if I were ever to get married my guy would end up with two sets of in-laws. My Winnipeg family and my Iowa family. : )

As I’m sure you’ve noticed but the “children of the corn,” as I like to call them, are growing up fast. I watched Buddy get married while I was down. He’s grown up a lot since you last saw him and I have to tell you the Harsch’s clean up nicely! If it weren’t for their smiles you’d hardly recognize them! LOL Needless to say the wedding was beautiful but it was hard not to be reminded about how you should’ve been there with me holding my hand, eating up a storm, and sharing a few dances. It was a bittersweet moment as I’m sure it will be when Jennifer gets married next year. I know she really wishes her dad could be there but not to worry, we‘ll still make a point to make your presence known. I told Jennifer I’d try to help out with the wedding as much as I can as I know we would’ve had you still been with us. I have to tell you, Jennifer’s matured so much in the last year. You’d be proud. Jennifer seems to have developed your work ethic and is working a lot of hours at the bank. She took time off from college but recently decided to finish her criminal justice degree. I don’t know that she’ll ever work in law enforcement but I’m proud that at the very least she’s finishing what she started and it will be there for her should she ever choose to use it. Jennifer’s very excited about building a life with Scott. I’ve only ever met Scott a time or two so I can’t say a lot about him other than that he makes her smile and it‘s great to see her smiling. Like you, and all the kids, she‘s got a great smile! Jennifer & Scott just bought a house and it’s beautiful. I’m sure they’ll very quickly make that house “home.”

Speaking of “home,“ Blake seems to have made himself at home over at Dawn & Kelly’s place and in Davis County. He’s grown up and changed so much over the last year. Blake’s going to be a junior this year and has brought his grades up from where they were in Ankeny. Blake’s got a part time job over at Pamida. I remember going in there with him years ago and him always begging me to buy video games. Now he gets a discount on them. LOL Blake has his first official girlfriend, at least that I know of, and while I never got to meet her while I was down he always seemed to be smiling a lot and I‘m sure that has to do, in part, with her. It’s almost hard to believe. I still think back about how when I first met him he used to blush at even the thought of having a girlfriend. Now he has one! Blake has a driver’s license now and is quickly marking his rounds around Davis County just as I’m sure you did in your younger days. He drove your mom, dad and I to lunch at Ray’s last week and I got this really neat picture of your dad in the passenger seat and Blake driving making sure to go the speed limit, of course! It was just a great reminder of the bond they share and it’s such a blessing to know no matter how old he gets Grandpa Mac is always there for him. More and more people keep saying Blake looks so much like you and he really does. He’s tall and thin and sometimes he even makes the same noises you used to when he cleared his throat, etc. It’s not to see you sitting there when you look at him. I called him before I left and I think I woke him up, of course he wouldn’t admit to it and said he was just getting up. It took me back to all those times I’d call you after a late night at work and how you’d never want me to think I’d troubled you and woke you up. You’d always say you were just getting up. It’s funny how all those “little things” live on in your kids. So many memories.

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how much Taylor has grown up the last year. Taylor’s about as tall as I am if not taller, but not to worry I’m still better looking! Just kidding, she’s beautiful. It seems like every week there’s a new boy she’s interested in and which ever one ends up stealing her heart is going to be one lucky guy. Taylor seems to be doing well at school and is still an amazing softball player. From what I understand she joined the track team and is a pretty good runner. I’m sure she gets that from you. While I haven’t seen her run I’d be willing to bet she could outrun you any day. LOL Taylor leaves today for Australia, of all places, on a student exchange program. It’s her first major trip and I know she’s pretty excited for this new experience. I’m sure she’ll have an awesome time and I’m sure you’ll watch over her. I told her to make sure to send me a postcard or two and to save some of the good looking Aussies for the rest of us. LOL

Anyhow, the kids are certainly doing well and have changed a lot over the last while. One of the things that‘s changed that you‘ll be proud of is that Blake, Taylor, and Jennifer have really bonded as siblings. They used to fight like cats and dogs, as I’m sure you remember, and there was a time I never thought I’d see them get along. Now they are the best of friends and they always know they’ve got each other’s backs. They’ve all come a long way in the last year or so and I’m proud of the people they are becoming as I’m sure you are proud being their dad. It makes me sad that we’re not there to be a part of their daily lives and it’s always really hard to leave Iowa but I’m blessed that we’re able to continue to be a part of their lives from a distance … you from Heaven and Me in Canada.

As far as leaving goes, I had a really hard time leaving Iowa this last visit. I stopped by the Law Center and I saw the same sad eyes I saw the first time I walked into the Law Center after you were killed. Those same eyes and that sadness have haunted me for a long time and it took me back to a time I’ve been trying to forget. A lot of officers have come and gone since you died but those same “eyes” were there that day. Needless to say, my heart jumped the minute I saw that “look” and I knew whatever it was wasn’t a good thing. I was told that Wes’ wife had been in a pretty nasty car accident with their two boys. The youngest one was killed instantly and it broke my heart. Wes has been pretty good to me over the years and I can’t even begin to imagine what his family might be going through, though I know it hurts. I wouldn’t wish that pain on anyone. When I saw how everyone at the Law Center reacted to the news I was reminded at just how much the Law Center really is a “family,“ how everyone reached out to me and me a part of their family when we lost you, and just how much they hurt when a member of the “family” is lost. It doesn’t have to be an officer that was killed, even the news of a family member or friend of an officer being hurt or killed affected the “family.” So when I heard the news I hurt too. I wanted to stay in Iowa for the funeral but I realized there wasn’t much I could do. On my way out of town I stopped by the cemetery to see you, let out a lot of tears, and sent a prayer to you to take care of Quentin. It was the least I could do. I’m sure he’ll need someone to look out for him up there and I can‘t think of anyone better to ask. I hope you heard my prayer and all the prayers I’ve sent to you over the years. I love you and I miss you. Know that no matter where life takes me you’re always a part of “my family” and my heart. Thank you for being a part of my life even from a distance.

Happy Birthday Hon!

Joss : )

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

By: Johnny Reid

If I only had two words left to say to you.
With my last breath I'd confess the truth to you.
You've never left my side, even when I fell behind.

Thank-you, thank-you for the life you've given me.
Thank-you for sharing all your love and all your dreams.
Thank-you for every tear of happiness I've cried.
Thank-you for laying down beside me here tonight.

When I close my eyes, I say a prayer for one more day with you.
And when I wake, I embrace the one who pulls me though.
Who pulls me through the storm when I can't go on.

Thank-you, thank-you for the life you've given me.
Thank-you for sharing all your love and all your dreams.
Thank-you, for every tear of happiness I've cried.
Thank-you for laying down beside me here tonight.

You've never let me down.
Its like you don't know how.
Thank-you, thank-you for the life you've given me.
Thank-you, for sharing all your love and all your dreams.

Jocelyne (Dennis' fiancee)
"Forever Missing & Loving 26-3"

June 19, 2008

To my cousin Dennis,

I was back home a month or so ago and was out and about with my mom, I came across this very tall, thin, young man, and as soon as I looked at his face knew it was "Dennis JR"...Blake looks exactly like you with his actions and all but how could he not, look who he had to look up to. I think the last time I saw the kids was at my little sisters wedding a couple years ago. Jennifer, Blake and Taylor have all grown soo much they are all fine young adults, I remember babysitting when Taylor was so very little. I thought at that time they were very well behaved.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know and I would have sooner if I knew about this page, but I looked up to you as well. I think it was that summer that I babysat for you that I gained so much respect for you and you became more then just a cousin, and then when you joined the sheriffs department my respect just grew. Growing up I remember at family get togethers I didn't feel like I fit in, I was at the age I was "way younger" then all of my cousins and "way older" then all of the second cousins, but there was something about you that made me feel more comfortable, you joked with me and teased me like you did the "older cousins" and you didn't baby me like everyone did the "younger cousins" if that makes any since at all.

I miss going to the DC fair and the Drakesville reunion seeing you walking around with such pride in your uniform and the 1st canoe carnival that you wern't out in the water making sure everyone was didn't feel like we should have started without the safty boat complete.

Gone but not forgotten, you are missed by many people

Ruth (Shockley) Schroeder

June 19, 2008

Happy Birthday in Heaven. I am think of you and your family. Keeping you in prayers Jocelynne


June 19, 2008

I searched Ray out after reading his fiancee's post on the page for our fallen brother, PC Rob Plunkett. I was touched she would take the time to leave a reflection for him, and wanted to repay her kindness.

I believe that this proves that as long as WE remember them, they will never be forgotten. I add Ray to the long list of fallen brothers and sisters that I honor daily in the course of my duties. They are never far from my thoughts.

PC Pandolfi #1249
York Regional Police, Ontario Canada
[email protected]

PC Amanda Pandolfi
York Regional Police (Ontario)

June 5, 2008

Deputy Sheriff McElderry,
Deputy Sheriff McElderry,
Thank You for your service and sacrifice.. You are a HERO!
May the Lord continue to be with your family and friends today and always..

Jocelyne, You are an amazing person, and I will continue to pray for you, and know Dennis will always be with you.. God Bless YOU!

Sister of Officer John P Harris EOW 8/19/1994

April 18, 2008


Just a note to let you know that I am thinking about you, and hope that you are well. You are always in my prayers.

Linda Edwards
finace to Douglas E Wendel eow 7-30-03

April 2, 2008

Deputy McElderry,

It's been 5 years since you were taken from the streets of Bloomfield. My hometown here in Iowa. I moved away and recently returned to Iowa. I wanted to say thanks to you for keeping the streets of my hometown safe, I never met you or your family, but request that you watch over my cousin who just joined the Bloomfield, Iowa Police Department. Nathaniel and I were always playing cops n robbers as kids. Please keep him safe. Thanks!

Tonya Stephenson
private citizen, Pella, IA

March 26, 2008


Your father is watching over you and I am sure he is very proud of the woman you have become.

I am so sorry that you and your siblings had to lose your father during the years you needed him the most. Know that you are in my prayers and those of the many that have stoped by to honor your father.

May you have a blessed life with more love and laughter than you can handle.

Proud Wife of a Wildland Firefighter

February 21, 2008


Sending you lots of love, hugs, & kisses to Heaven. I miss you more than words can say.

Forever my Valentine ...

Joss :)

February 14, 2008

You were the first HERO of 2003. I know your family loves you. It just seems like yesterday. How can it be 5 years later? That's how we know you will never be forgotten. Your loved ones will always feel your presence and their special memories of you remain strong. They can say they knew a true Hero up close and personal. Thank you so much for caring about others and making it your job to protect.

Sharon Atkins Identical Twin Sister of Norfolk Officer
Sheila Herring EOW 1-16-03

Sharon Atkins

January 29, 2008

"The Badge"

He starts his shift each day
To respond to calls unknown.
He drives a marked patrol car.
A police officer he is known.

He's paid by the citizens' taxes
To make it safe on the streets.
But he usually has a second job
'Cause a waitress has his salary beat.

Now he doesn't know a holiday
'Cause he works all year round.
And when Thanksgiving and Christmas finally arrive
At his home he cannot be found.

He's cursed and assaulted often,
The one whos blood runs blue.
He seldom ever gets a thanks,
To some he's just a fool.

His friends are always other cops
'Cause people just don't understand
That underneath his badge and gun,
He's just another man.

He knows there might not be a tomorrow
In this world of drugs and crime.
And he gets so mad at the court system
'Cause the crooks don't get any time.

And each day when he leaves for work,
He prays to God above.
Please bring me home after my shift
So I can see the ones I love.

But tonight he stops a speeding car,
He's alone down this ole' highway.
It's just a little traffic infraction.
He does it everyday.

Well, he walks up to the driver's window,
And his badge is shining bright.
He asked the guy for a driver's license,
When a shot rang through the night.

Yes, the bullet hit its mark,
Striking the officer in the chest.
But the Department's budget didn't buy
Each officer a bullet-proof vest.

So he lay on the ground bleeding.
His blood wasn't blue - His blood was red.
And briefly he thought of his loved ones
'Cause in a moment the officer was dead.

In the news they told the story
Of how this officer had died.
And some who listened cared less,
But those who loved him cried.

Well, they buried him in uniform
With his badge pinned on his chest.
He even had his revolver,
He died doing his best.

Written By:
David L. Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Department
Columbia, South Carolina
Used with Special Permission of the Author
Copyright © 1999 - All Rights Reserved
and may not be duplicated without permission

Investigator David L Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Dept., Columbia, SC

January 14, 2008

I just wanted to send out my thoughts to Dennis's fiance and children. I see time doesn't change much when true "love" was there. Death cannot destroy love, it merely changes it. It's been almost 2 years for me and my daughter. I feel I am a different person now, its so hard to let go of a past.... that was your only future. God Bless!

Tracie Corr
Widow of Officer Joseph Corr

January 12, 2008


If you’ve been watching over my life, like I think you have, you’ll know life has been pretty overwhelming the last few months. You’ve probably seen many tough situations full of frustration and tears, sprinkled with a few good times. It hasn’t been easy, but with your strength, I am somehow able to get through them. You always were my rock. I know I should probably let go of you, but I love you too much and I don’t know that ever will be able to completely. Please continue to watch over me and send me strength as I face the challenges life throws my way, especially where my family is concerned. Things are happening family wise that are ripping me apart and, if you can, shine your light on a solution. Things can’t keep going on like this.

I hope that by now you’ve met my good friend Doreen. She lost her battle with cancer in October, shortly before the anniversary of my dad’s passing. I miss her stories, her wisdom, & her friendship. She had a lot of attitude but if you took the time to get to know her you’d find out she was such a beautiful lady. Doreen sat through many of my Dennis/Iowa stories and she knows all about you. I was blessed to be there on her final day and before she left I told her not to be afraid, to remember her faith, and that when she got to Heaven to look out for you, Lucky, & my Dad and that you guys would make sure that she was safe and taken care of. If she hasn’t found you yet, look for her & give her a big hug for me. She’ll probably be the one complaining to God & the angels that the clouds aren’t fluffy enough! LOL You can’t help but love her!

Speaking of cancer, I’m afraid you’re about to have another good friend of mine to look out for on the streets of Heaven. His name is Joel and he‘s become pretty close to me the last two months or so. We’d actually met about three years ago but with him dealing with his cancer and me being stuck on you we’d drifted apart. Somehow we found our way back to each other and I‘d come to find out what an amazing person he is. I found out last night things have taken a turn for the worse and I’ve been in tears ever since. God has so many angels and people I care about already, I’m not ready for him to take Joel too. Joel has so much more life to live, but at the same time I don’t want him living his life in the pain he’s in. If for some way you can ever find a way to work a miracle for him now’s the time. You know how much I hate goodbyes and you know I’m not ready for goodbye yet, but if for some reason he has to go please take care of him for me. He’ll be the big “hubba hubba” bald guy with the heart of gold, possibly jamming to the 80’s tunes and standing under the mistletoe. : ) I know you guys will get along great. When he gets there give him a hug for me. You were always great at those and I know he’ll need a few after all he’s been through. I miss your hugs.

It’s been five years but I still miss you in ways people probably don’t understand. I think about you all the time. Know that I love you and you always have a piece of me, just as the kids always do. I’ve been doing what I can to keep in touch with them as much as I can, but like Jennifer said, the distance makes it hard. They are growing up so fast you probably wouldn’t even recognize them. I mean you’d recognize them as your kids, but they are no longer the 6, 8, & 13 year olds you introduced me to way back when. Jennifer’s 20, engaged & in college. Blake’s 16, about to get his driver’s license and I’m guessing almost as tall as you are. Taylor’s 13, an amazing softball player, and full of big ideas and dreams. All the kids are beautiful and every time I see them I see a little more of them in you. The older they get I think the more they realize just how much you were an important part of their lives. I know that they miss you as do your parents, your sisters, your friends, and everyone at the Law Center. Every time I’m down to visit it never fails that someone shares a story or a memory about you, or just stops me to tell me how much they miss you even after all this time. You may not have realized how much of a difference you made in your lifetime, but know you left this world loved. Just because your life ended the love we all had for you didn’t. Never doubt that.

Sending you kisses & all of my love,

Joss : )

PS: If it’s not too much to ask, keep a look out for all the fallen officer survivors out there. I met a bunch of them this summer in St. Louis, and I know there are many more out there. They are all hurting in their own ways. Please send them some smiles if you can. That’s all. I hope I’m not asking too much of you. Love ya!

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

BY: Lonestar

Got a picture of you I carry in my heart
Close my eyes to see it when the world gets dark
Got a memory of you I carry in my soul
I wrap it close around me when the nights get cold
If you asked me how I'm doin' I'd say just fine
But the truth is baby, if you could read my mind

Not a day goes by that I don't think of you
After all this time you're still with me it's true
Somehow you remain locked so deep inside
Baby, baby, oh baby, not a day goes by

I still wait for the phone in the middle of the night
Thinkin' you might call me if your dreams don't turn out right
And it still amazes me that I lie here in the dark
Wishin' you were next to me, with your head against my heart
If you asked me how I'm doing I'd say just fine
But the truth is baby, if you could read my mind

Not a day goes by that I don't think of you
After all this time you're still with me it's true
Somehow you remain locked so deep inside
Baby, baby, oh baby, not a day goes by

Minutes turn to hours, and the hours to days
Seems it's been forever that I've felt this way

Not a day goes by that I don't think of you
After all this time you're still with me it's true
Somehow you remain locked so deep inside
Baby, baby, oh baby, not a day goes by

"Forever Loving & Missing 26-3"

January 5, 2008

I have often seen your loving messages of comfort you've left for other officers. You're a very special woman. I know that Dennis must be so proud of you as well. I wanted you to know that I was thinking of you especially today,this being the 5th anniversay of Dennis passing. God Bless

summit county

January 4, 2008

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