Thomas L. Edgell saved Richard D. Gooding from possible suffocation, East Liverpool, Ohio, December 27, 1978. Fire from the house next door spread to the dwelling in which Richard, 4, was asleep in an upstairs bedroom. Richard’s parents, leaving with another child, met Edgell, 32, police patrolman, on the stairway, to which point he and another patrolman had gone to alert the occupants of the house. Learning that Richard was still upstairs, Edgell, followed by the mother, crawled through dense smoke to the bedroom, where flames had by then burned through one wall. Edgell found Richard and, carrying him, followed the mother safely to the outside
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Thomas L. Edgell, of East Liverpool, Ohio, died on June 29, 2020, at the St. Mary’s Alzheimer’s Center. He was 73.
Born in East Liverpool on Aug. 22, 1946, he was a son of Paul E. and Betty Barrett Edgell. He graduated from East Liverpool High School in 1964 and continued his education at Kent State University’s East Liverpool Campus. He then earned a degree from what now is known as Franciscan University of Steubenville.
Edgell began his career in law enforcement with the Alliance Police Department and the East Liverpool Police Department. In 1978, his time with the East Liverpool Department ended early due to an injury he suffered while entering a burning home to rescue a young child; he was awarded the Carnegie Medal for heroism for this selfless act.
Edgell also worked as a special investigator for Kapp Law Office and Amato Law Office. He worked as a bailiff for the Southwest Court in Columbiana County and was the deputy director of the Board of Elections for the county. He also taught school at the Columbiana County Career and Technical Center, Southern Local School and Kent State. In 2012, Edgell became the village administrator for Wellsville until his retirement. He also owned and operated Thomas Edgell and Associates Investigations and Security.
In 1995, Edgell received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Kent State’s East Liverpool campus and was inducted into the Wall of Fame. A community-minded person, he volunteered with Habitat for Humanity. He was a member of Holy Trinity Parish and the Knights of Columbus. Above all things in life, Edgell loved his family. He enjoyed spending time with them and was his grandchildren’s biggest fan at the rodeo, always offering to support them any way he could.
He was survived by his wife LouAnne Edgell, at home. The couple married on July 21, 1995. They had two daughters, Paula Edgell Dahmer and her husband, Eric, of Minnesota; and Carrie Blissenbach and her husband, Karl, of Gavers, Ohio, as well as five grandchildren, Addison, Loren, Emilie, Karlie and Gabriel.
Edgell also was survived by two sisters, Vicki Lynn Chiaverini, and her companion, David Kaichen, of Orlando, Fla., and Joanne P. Reynolds, and her husband, Howard, of East Liverpool.
He was buried in Riverview Cemetery in East Liverpool.
(Edited from an obituary published in the Morning Journal in Lisbon, Ohio on June 30, 2020.