Geoffrey Lynn Oglesby, 63, of Berlin Heights, Ohio, went to the Supreme Court in Heaven to plead his case before our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on Friday, February 28, 2019. He was surrounded by his family and friends when he began his journey.
Born on March 30, 1955 in Sandusky, Ohio to the late RB and Erciele (Martin) Oglesby, Geoff was the third of seven children born of this union. He accepted Christ at an early age and on January 5, 1964 he was baptized at the historic Second Baptist Church in Sandusky, Ohio, where he was a lifelong member. He was a 1973 graduate of Sandusky High School and a member of the National Honor Society. While in high school, Geoff was elected Grand Master Counselor of the Cavalier Chapter of Pythagorans, a Prince Hall Masonic Youth organization. After graduating from high school, Geoff attended The Ohio State University and graduated in 1977 with a Bachelor of Arts and Science in Political Science.
After a brief stint at the Sandusky Ford plant, Geoff enrolled at the Cleveland Marshall College of Law. He completed his juris doctor in December of 1981, passed the bar exam in 1982, and became authorized to practice law in the State of Ohio that same year. After being sworn in, Geoff immediately began practicing law with his father in downtown Sandusky, thus creating the first black law firm in the city. His primary focus was on criminal defense work and he often represented defendants in conjunction with dad, RB, until his passing in 1995. Geoff handled numerous capital murder trials in the state of Ohio with most, if not all, of his clients successfully avoiding the death penalty. One of his more notable cases involved an appearance with his client on CNN in 2017. Geoff was also an instructor at Ohio Business College in Sandusky.
Following in his father’s footsteps, Geoff became a Master Mason. His Masonic affiliations include: Past Master and Current Grand Assistant Attorney with Progress Lodge, No. 85, Prince Hall, F&AM and member of Lakeview Chapter No. 65, Order of the Eastern Star, both in Sandusky. The highest honor of that organization, the 33rd degree, was bestowed upon him in 1986. Also a Shriner, Geoff was a member of El Hasa Temple No. 28, Ancient Egyptian Arabic Nobles of the Mystic Shrine out of Cleveland, Ohio.
An avid golfer, Geoff owned at least two dozen pairs of golf shoes, including some made out of crocodile. He was a staunch fan of all Ohio sports teams, but especially the Ohio State Buckeyes and Cleveland Browns. He was a key sponsor of the 1st female African American IHRA Junior Dragster Champion. Aside from golf and the law, Geoff’s other passion involved watching mobster movies. He would watch the Godfather trilogy, Harlem Nights, Goodfellows, or Bronx Tale at least once a month. Like his late brother, Dwight, Geoff loved to communicate by quoting famous lines from those movies.
Geoff was a good servant to many people of Sandusky. He was a member of the NAACP and chairman of its Legal Redress Committee; Family Health Services board; Community Action Commission (CAC); 9th Congressional District Citizen’s Advisory Committee for Service Academy nominations; and National Bar Association. Geoff’s commitment to justice for all led him to provide countless pro bono services and advice to many who could not otherwise afford it. He also allowed the building that houses Oglesby & Oglesby, Attorneys & Counselors at Law, Ltd. to serve as host venue for many social, community, and political functions free of charge. For the past seven years, Geoff’s firm hosted an annual Christmas party with complimentary food, beverages, and live music. All were welcome to join the festivities.
Geoff is survived by five children: Chadrick Johnson, of Sandusky, Tyrone Wade, of Norwalk, Christine Jackson and Brandi Oglesby, both of Columbus, and Ar’Ciele Oglesby-Riddle, of Sandusky; two sisters: Lurlia, of Dallas, TX, and Yma (James) Fuqua, of Euclid; two brothers: Robert Burke, of Jacksonville, FL, and Bobby, of Berlin Heights; nine grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; dozens of nieces and nephews; several beloved cousins, including: Phil Oglesby I and II, of Norwalk, Sondra Moore, of Elyria, Mark Oglesby, of Greensboro, NC, Vonda Evans, of Detroit, MI, Herbert Allen, of Memphis, TN and Irwin ‘Petey” Oglesby, of Philadelphia, PA.
In addition to his parents, Geoff was preceded in death by three children: Geoffrey, Jr., twins, Alpha and Beta; and four brothers: James, Brian, Dwight, and Duncan.
A wake will be held on Friday, March 8, 2019 in the historic Second Baptist Church, 315 Decatur St., Sandusky from 4-7 pm, followed by Masonic services from 7-8 pm. All are welcome to attend the Masonic services.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 9, 2019 at the Community Church of the Nazarene, 1617 Milan Rd., Sandusky. Pastor Reginald J. Taylor will officiate. Burial will follow in Oakland Cemetery, Sandusky.
Condolences may be sent to Oglesby & Oglesby, 618 W. Washington St., Sandusky, Ohio 44870. Toft Funeral Home & Crematory, 2001 Columbus Ave., Sandusky, is handling arrangements. Online condolences may be shared with the family by visiting toftfuneralhome.com.