Landscapes 03

Ralph Portier

October 22, 1950 ~ December 30, 2021 (age 71)


Ralph J. Portier, 71, died December 30, 2021, at his home in Pickerington, OH. He died peacefully with family at his side following a 2-year struggle with pancreatic cancer.

Ralph was born October 22, 1950, in The Hague, The Netherlands. He immigrated to the United States at the age of seven and moved to Cambridge, Ohio at the age of thirteen. He graduated from Guernsey Catholic Center High School in 1969 and earned a bachelor’s degree from Columbia Southern University. He began his 50 years of public service with the Cassell Station Volunteer Fire Department in 1971. He was elected to the Guernsey County Board of County Commissioners, serving two terms from 1981-1988. He was instrumental in the complete renovation of the Guernsey County Courthouse and, as a commissioner, assisted with the very first lighting of the courthouse for the Christmas holiday season. Also, Cambridge residents may remember him as the manager of Roger’s Jewelers for many years. He worked as an EMT and paramedic for 23 years and founded United Ambulance in Guernsey and Noble County. He began his law enforcement career as a reserve deputy with Guernsey County in 1976 and worked as a juvenile probation officer for a short time before taking a full-time police officer position with the City of Pickerington in 1993. He served the citizens of Pickerington for 16 years as a police officer, detective, sergeant, and commander. He became the Chief of Police for the City of Groveport in November 2009 and retired from there in April 2021.

Chief Portier will be remembered for his lecture on first responders in crisis, a program called “Dying in Blue”, that he provided for mental health organizations throughout the State of Ohio. In addition, he instructed various topics for the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy at basic police academies in central Ohio. One of his favorite topics was subject control (Defensive Tactics). He also served on Criminal Justice Advisory Boards for local colleges.

Chief Portier earned his Black Belt in Taiho Jutsu and Japan Karate Do. He was inducted into the Martial Arts Hall of Fame in 2016.

Ralph is survived by his wife of 34 years Peggy Robinson Portier; daughter Stephanie (Brian) Vierstra of Thornville; grandsons Riley, Chase and Colten Vierstra; step-grandchildren Nicole (Kyle) Girton and Scott (Abigail) Vierstra; step-great-grandchildren Sydney Hennis, Natalie, Charles and Kylee Girton, Kasen and Kennedi Vierstra; brothers Glenn (Diane), Frank (Ellen), Andrew (Tara), Fitzgerald (Cyndi) and Greg (Joanna) Portier; father- and mother-in-law James and Pauline Robinson; sister-in-law Julie (Allen) Franklin; brothers-in-law James (Vicki) and Daniel (Jennifer) Robinson; many special nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews.

Ralph is preceded in death by his parents Swen Ralph and Yvonne de la Croix Portier; three of his brothers, Edwin, George, and Victor; and Sue Ann Milligan, his first wife and mother of his daughter.

Ralph was a member of the Motts Military Museum, Pickerington-Violet Township Historical Society, Fairfield Heritage Trail Association, Friends of Madison County Parks and Trails, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, Groveport Moose Lodge #1245, Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress and the National Center for Crisis Management..
As his last public service, Ralph chose to donate his body to science. A memorial service led by family friend Pastor Kevin Kellogg will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating in Ralph’s memory to the following organizations: Save a Warrior, Mott’s Military Museum, The Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and The James Cancer Hospital.

Messages of condolence may be left on the tribute wall.

Save a Warrior
PO Box 218117
Columbus, OH 43221

Motts Military Museum
5075 S. Hamilton Rd
Groveport, OH 43125

Nationwide Children’s Hospital Foundation
The Abigail Wexner Research Institute
PO Box 16810
Columbus, OH 43216-6810

The Ohio State University Foundation
The James Fund for Life
PO Box 710811
Columbus, OH 43271-0811

To send flowers to Ralph's family, please visit our floral store.


You can still show your support by sending flowers directly to the family
© 2022 Dwayne R Spence Funeral Home. All Rights Reserved. | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy