Willis E. Blackshear, longtime Montgomery County recorder and Montgomery County Democratic Party stalwart, has died, Dayton and county officials confirmed today. He was 57.
“He was always passionate about public service and really passionate about how people can make a difference in their communities if they got involved in politics,” said Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, who said Blackshear died overnight in hospice care after a long illness.
Blackshear worked his way up the ranks during 22 years in the county’s treasurer’s office. In 2006 he was appointed county recorder. In 2008, he was elected to his first full term and was re-elected in 2012 and 2016.
Born and raised in Dayton, Blackshear continued to reside in the city with his wife, Regina. He also leaves behind an adult son, Willis Jr.
Blackshear graduated from Paul Laurence Dunbar High School and received his BA in political Science from Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn., according to his county biography.
We will continue to update this story as it develops.