Mottinger, clerk of courts, dies at 83


By Aimee Hancock

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BRADFORD — Jan Mottinger, longtime chief of Bradford Fire and Rescue Services and clerk of courts for Miami County, died Monday, June 14, 2021, at the age of 83.

Born Jan. 8, 1938, in Bradford, Mottinger is the son of William Andrew and Janis Annebel (Mohler) Mottinger. He graduated from Bradford High School in 1965 and studied certified management courses at Wittenberg University from 1972 to 1974.

Mottinger first joined the Bradford Fire Department in August 1965. He was involved with the department for over five decades, serving as chief for 28 of those years.

In 2019, Mottinger was honored during a convention in Pleasant Hill hosted by the Central Western Fireman’s Association, during which he was recognized “as the oldest, still active firefighter.”

In 1960, Mottinger married his wife Carol, whom he remained married to for 61 years. Carol preceded him in death by just nine days, having passed away on June 5, 2021, at the age of 78.

Mottinger was first elected clerk of courts in January 1977, serving for 44 years over the Miami County Common Pleas Court, Miami County Municipal Court, Court of Appeals and the Auto Title Department.

Prior to his service to the county, Mottinger was a paper cutter operator for Champion Paper from 1959-1965; production planning supervisor at Champion International from 1965-1975; and was Comprehensive Employment Training Act coordinator for the Department of Transportation, in Sidney, from 1975-1976. He served as mayor of Bradford from 1968-1975.

Mottinger had also been a trustee of the Dettmer Hospital Foundation, in Troy, since 1983; served with the United States Army from 1956-1959; was on the Ohio Clerk of Courts Association’s legislation committee since 1980; and the Ohio Mayors Association, serving as the first vice president from 1975-1976.

Mottinger was most recently re-elected to his position as clerk of courts during the November 2020 election, with a four-year term beginning on Jan. 4 of this year.

During Tuesday’s Board of Miami County Commissioners meeting, the board voted to appoint Shawn Peeples as the interim clerk of courts. According to Ohio Revised Code, the Miami County Republican Central Committee must act no sooner than five days and no later than 45 days from the vacancy to instate a permanent successor to the position.

According to Commission President Greg Simmons, Mottinger “has been a friend” to the commissioners, fire services and police services throughout the county. Simmons said Mottinger had been a strong advocate for board and county objectives throughout his time as clerk of courts, notably allocating money to assist in establishing new safety features at the Miami County Courthouse and Safety Building, which were implemented in early 2020.

“I think the whole county is very, very sad with the passing of Jan Mottinger … he’s just been one of the greatest assets this county has had,” Simmons said.

“I didn’t know him real well, but from what I did know of him, he seemed to be such a genuine, kind person, and he cared so much about the community,” Commissioner Ted Mercer said. “We are saddened by his loss.”

Commissioner Wade Westfall, who served previously as commissioner from 1989 to 1993, said he has always known Mottinger to be an “icon” in the community.

“This is truly going to be a loss for not only the community of Miami County but also the government of Miami County,” Westfall said.

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