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Hero Down: Cleveland Police Department Officer Raymond ‘Ray’ Francel Dies Unexpectedly

North Ridgeville, OH – Cleveland Police Department (CPD) Officer Raymond “Ray” Francel died unexpectedly at his home on Jan. 11.

Lorain County Coroner Dr. Frank Miller said he believes the 53-year-old officer died of natural causes, The Chronicle reported.

Officer Francel’s specific cause of death was not immediately released.

The Cleveland native served the CPD for 27 years, and was assigned to the Airport Unit at the time of his death, according to his obituary.

“Ray was a man of faith and love who enriched the lives of those who knew him with his gifts of service, love, and sense of humor,” the tribute read.

Dozens of people wrote about their memories of Officer Francel on his memorial page.

“Ray is one of the sweetest, kindest [people] you could ever meet. He always made my day when I came to work at the airport. We would give each other a hug,” one note read. “Ray was an angel here on earth. I am going to miss him and I am keeping his family and friends in my prayers. Rest in Heaven my Dear Friend!”

“Ray was an awesome guy, a true genuine friend,” another person wrote. “He [sent] my children gifts such as hats, secret service pins, and other interesting items he came across as part of his job securing the airport. He will be highly missed.”

Officer Francel leaves behind his mother, Liuda, and his brother, Joseph, according to his obituary.

He is also survived by his niece, nephew, cousins, friends, and his brothers and sisters in blue.

Officer Francel was laid to rest on Jan. 20.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Cleveland Police Department Officer Raymond “Ray” Francel, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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