David Heath Obituary, Death – Former Tippecanoe County sheriff and current mayor of Lafayette, Indiana David Heath, 75, passed away peacefully at IU Arnett Hospital on February 13, 2023 after a lengthy fight with cancer. On October 9, 1947, Dave’s life began, and it ended, in Lafayette, Indiana. David Lynn Heath was brought up by his parents, salesman Joseph N. Heath, Sr. and teacher Geraldine “Jerry” Heath (née Hanrahan), in both Lafayette and Chicago. After his father’s untimely death, he looked up to his older brothers, the late Joseph N. “Joe” Heath, Jr. and John R. “Jack” Heath.
After attending Central Catholic High School, he made acquaintances that would last a lifetime. Recently, he coined the term “Old Boys” to describe a group of pals who get together annually in Florida to enjoy the warm weather, play golf, and renew friendships that have lasted for almost half a century. They were inseparable after he married the love of his life, Kathy (née Harless), on July 29, 1974. They have four kids, all of whom live in Lafayette: Jenn Thompson, Drew Heath, Nikki Choate, and Kelly McKinney.
Both of Kathy’s kids are still around and healthy. After finishing his degree at Ball State, Dave enlisted in the United States Air Force and became a medic. David’s lifelong ambition was to join the police force. David’s cherished law enforcement career began in 1975 when he was hired as a deputy for the Sheriff of Tippecanoe County, Indiana. He made friends and rose through the ranks to the rank of Sergeant in the Sheriff’s Office, but his ultimate goal was to become Sheriff.
Before he turned 40, he ran for sheriff and won. He served as sheriff of Tippecanoe County, Indiana, from 1987 until 1994, when term limitations prevented him from seeking reelection. He served as sheriff for 20 years, during which time he established the county’s first 911 system and constructed a state-of-the-art correctional facility. In his role as president, he oversaw the 1994 gathering of Indiana sheriffs in Lafayette. Dave had great pride in the fact that after his retirement, three of his children, Nikki, Drew, and Jennifer, all found employment in the Sheriff’s Office. He wed Art and Aron, two police officers in Tippecanoe County.