Robert Fankhauser

Academic and Career Accomplishments

A 1962 graduate of Ravenna High School, Bob began his career in law enforcement in 1967 as a patrolman for the Ravenna Police Department. He was hired by the Kent Police Department in 1971 where he served as patrolman, the department’s Juvenile Officer and then as a detective for the Kent Police Department. In 1978 he transferred to the Portage County Adult Probation Department and later became Chief Probation Officer. Bob was the second Chief since the probation department was established in 1964. During his term as Chief the department grew from 7 to more than 30 employees. Bob was a very caring and compassionate administrator, always willing to help without recognition. He supervised numerous clients on probation and many would later come back to thank him for helping them change their lives. While Bob was Chief, the probation department won the prestigious Clifford Skeen Award from the State of Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections. The award was for recognition of excellence and innovation in providing community corrections. Bob retired June 30, 2009 after serving 31 years as Chief Adult Probation Officer. He was a member and past president of FOP Lodge #70. Bob was devoted to and very active in the Ravenna Community. He served on the Ravenna School Board, Maplewood School Board, Ravenna Ravens Hall of Fame Committee, Ravenna Parks and Recreation Board and was past president of the Ravenna High School Athletic Booster Club. Bob was also a life member of the Ravenna Elks Club #1076 and was in the Elks bowling league for many years. Bob’s greatest joy was spending time with his children, Marla, Mark and Beth, his grandchildren, and other family members. Bob’s legacy lives on through the “Gift of Life”. In 1993, he donated a kidney to his son, Mark. Bob later became an advocate and speaker for the National Kidney Foundation of Ohio. One of his proudest moments was watching Mark being sworn in as a Portage County Municipal Court Judge. Bob was an absolute gentleman, wonderful husband, father, grandfather and a dear friend to many.

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