Cover photo for Jan Michael "Sheriff" Spitler's Obituary
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1940 Jan Michael "Sheriff" Spitler 2023

Jan Michael "Sheriff" Spitler

July 30, 1940 — May 30, 2023

Eaton, OH

Jan Michael “Sheriff” Spitler, age 82, of Eaton, died on May 30, 2023, at his residence. He was born on July 30, 1940, in Dayton to Floyd E. Spitler and Hazel E. Eikenbery Spitler Schlotterbeck. He was a 1958 graduate of Eaton High School and attended Miami University.  A day after he married his high school sweetheart, Sharon Ann Curtis, on July 31, 1960, they moved to California so he could pursue an education in law enforcement. They returned to Eaton in 1961 where he was sworn in as a Preble County Deputy Sheriff under Sheriff John J. Stover, Sr.  He was elected Sheriff in 1972 and served until 1985. He attended numerous law enforcement training courses including the National Sheriff’s Association sponsored training at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and the F.B.I. Academy in Quantico, VA.  Following his law enforcement career, he worked for a security consulting company specializing in undercover drug investigations working with several Fortune 500 companies. His travels took him from coast to coast and into Mexico, Canada, and Puerto Rico.  His employment ended working with the TASC Division of The Preble County Juvenile Court, finally retiring in 2015.  He spent his last years enjoying impromptu visits from his family, neighbors, lifelong friends, and deputies where they would congregate in his man cave (i.e. garage) reliving old war stories and fond memories.  He was an avid watcher of John Wayne movies, Gunsmoke, the Virginian, and many other western shows.  He also indulged in watching sports (i.e. Ohio State Buckeyes, Cincinnati Bengals, Cincinnati Reds, and PGA golf). What he looked forward to the most every day was the purchase of his lottery tickets where he often won more than he lost.  He was very proud of his children and grandchildren and would often boast this to anyone and everyone.  He is preceded in death by his parents, his stepfather, Larry Schlotterbeck, his special Aunt and Uncle Weltha and Pete Kisling, and his hero and first cousin, Lt. Col. Todd A. Eikenbery, USMC combat pilot.  He is survived by his wife of nearly 63 years, Sharon Spitler, his son Michael J. Spitler, his daughter Michelle (Mike) Shafer; grandchildren, Justin (Samantha) Spitler, Jerod (Logan) Spitler, Jessica Spitler, and Sydney Shafer; great-grandchildren, Dominick Spitler and Paisley Rae Spitler; his half-brother Joe (Margo) Schlotterbeck of West Virginia, step-brother, Paul J. (Gayle) Schlotterbeck, of Priest River, Idaho, stepsister Sheri (Rob Myer) Schlotterbeck, Lakeside, California, and cousins Terry  Eikenbery, Steve Eikenbery and Kris Eikenbery.  The family will welcome family and friends on Friday, June 9, 2023 from 4:00pm until time of memorial service at 7:00 pm at the Eaton United Methodist Church located at 120 North Maple Street, Eaton.  Gard Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Eaton is assisting the family with arrangements.  In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Preble County Special Deputies Inc., 1139 Preble Drive, Eaton, OH 45320.  Online condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.gardfuneralhome.com.

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, June 9, 2023

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

Eaton United Methodist Church

120 N. Maple Street, Eaton, OH 45320

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Memorial Service

Friday, June 9, 2023

Starts at 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

Eaton United Methodist Church

120 N. Maple Street, Eaton, OH 45320

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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