Theodore “Ted” Moyer, who served as Harford County Sheriff from 1981 to 1986 following a long career with the Maryland State Police, died Monday night at his Edgewood home, his family said. He was 83.
Moyer had faced heart problems in recent years, his son, Stephen Moyer, said. In a release, the state police said Moyer passed away after “a long illness.”
“Dad did so much to keep Maryland and Harford County safe over the years for many,” Moyer said in a statement. “[He was] a career cop who always looked out for the road patrol trooper or front line deputy. Ted loved the Maryland State Police and the Harford County Sheriff’s Office.”
Moyer’s passing continued a somber month for the county agency, which saw two deputies die in the line of duty in separate incidents earlier this month.
Sheriff Jesse Bane served as a sergeant under Moyer, and is personal friends with the Moyer family. He was able to visit the Moyer family late Monday night after leaving a viewing for Sgt. Ian Loughran, who died of a heart attack Sept. 13, according to Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Monica Worrell.
“We lost a great man in Sheriff Moyer,” Sheriff Jesse Bane said in a statement. “History will remember him for his contributions to the State of Maryland as a member of the Maryland State Police and for his contributions to Harford County as her Sheriff. Those who knew him on a more personal level will remember him for his devotion to his family and for his devotion to our youth. We wish him God’s speed. He will surely be missed by all who knew him.”
According to the state police, Moyer was born and raised in Hagerstown, Md., playing semi-pro football for the Browns and working at Fairchild building planes before becoming a trooper in 1951 and being assigned to Harford County. He eventually married and raised a family in the county while serving as commander of several barracks around the state, including the Bel Air barracks.
Moyer retired from the state police as a major in 1981, when he was appointed sheriff by Gov. Harry Hughes and won the position in his own right in an election the following year. But Moyer remained connected to the state police even after his retirement, state police spokesman Greg Shipley said, staying active with the Maryland State Police Alumni Association and serving as that organization’s president for a time, and frequently appearing with his wife Elaine at the agency’s Fallen Heroes ceremony and at award and promotion ceremonies.
Along the way, he also mentored young troopers—among them Shipley, who served alongside Stephen Moyer.
“He would always ask me how it was going, and encourage me. It meant a lot to me,” Shipley said. “It’s something I’ll always be grateful for.”
As sheriff, Moyer presided during a time of change for Harford County, but remained a “policeman’s policeman,” according to Harford County Councilman “Capt’n” Jim McMahan. One of the deputies under his command at the time was Terry Noye.
“He used to come down to the scene [of a crime], not to take charge, but to see if there was anything he could do for the guys working,” Noye said. “He was a good sheriff.”
Noye said his history with Moyer went back to Noye’s early teenage years, when at the age of 13 or 14 he missed the school bus one day. Walking to Edgewood High School from his home on Mountain Road, Noye said he had gone several miles onto Route 7 when a state trooper’s car driven by Moyer pulled up next to him.
“I looked to the left, and saw a state trooper. I said, ‘I missed the bus, sir,’ and he said, ‘hop in, I’ll take you,” Noye recalled. “Up until then, my fear of police was, they’re going to nail you.”
Ironically, Noye said that the school bus he missed was driven by Bill Kunkel, then a deputy but eventually the man who would precede Moyer as sheriff.
Moyer was also active in youth sports programs, coaching football, basketball, and baseball teams for nearly 40 years.
“He did so much for so many kids in this county,” said Stephen Moyer. “It is amazing how many people I don’t know walk up and tell me he was their mentor, coach and friend.”
McMahan said Moyer was a father figure to many local youth.
“Ted was always concerned about the kids in the neighborhood,” McMahan said. “Aside from his three boys, he had a plethora of other kids that thought of him as “Dad” or a father figure. He was Dad, coach, mentor and confidant to literally hundreds of kids in the Edgewood area.”
McMahan remembered his friend as an avid sports fan who loved the Colts and Orioles, and adopted the Ravens, but had a soft spot for former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning. McMahan said he spent some time with Moyer to watch the Orioles dramatic 14-inning win over Tampa Bay on Sept. 13.
One of numerous multi-generational families in the Maryland State Police, Moyer’s son Stephen joined the force himself, eventually retiring as a lieutenant colonel at the end of 2006. According to Shipley, just before his death, the elder Moyer presented Stephen’s son Drew with his retirement badge, encouraging him to carry on the family’s legacy with the agency.
Moyer is survived by his wife, Elaine; three sons, David, Michael and Stephen; and four grandchildren. A memorial service and reception are planned for Saturday at 11 a.m. at Mountain Christian Church in Joppa. A reception will follow at the Richlin Ballroom in Edgewood.
Moyer during his career with the Maryland State Police. (Courtesy Moyer Family)
Moyer during his tenure as Harford County Sheriff, 1981-1986 (Courtesy Harford County Sheriff’s Office)
From the Maryland State Police:
RESPECTED STATE AND HARFORD CO. RETIRED POLICE OFFICIAL DIES AFTER LONG ILLNESS
(EDGEWOOD, MD) – A well-respected and beloved law enforcement official who had careers with both the Maryland State Police and the Harford County Sheriff’s Office passed away last night after a long illness.
Theodore S. Moyer, 83, of Edgewood, Md., died shortly after 7:30 p.m. yesterday. He was at his home and surrounded by family when he passed away.
Major Ted Moyer was born and raised in Hagerstown, Md. He played semi-pro football for the Browns and worked at Fairchild building planes before joining the Maryland State Police.
Major Moyer moved to Harford County in 1951 as a new trooper with the Maryland State Police. His graduating class was the first to wear the Stetson hat and the shoulder patch that is still worn by troopers. Although his assignments as a trooper changed throughout his career, he never moved from the county he loved, where he was surrounded by the many people who came to know and love him.
During his State Police career, he served as commander of the Greenbelt Post, the North East, Valley, and Bel Air barracks and of the Northern Troop. He retired from the Maryland State Police in 1981 with the rank of major. He then went on to be elected sheriff and served with the Harford County Sheriff’s Office until 1986.
After his retirement from law enforcement, Major Moyer continued his support of and involvement in the Maryland State Police. He was an active member of the Maryland State Police Alumni Association and had previously served as the organization’s president. He and his wife were faithful in their attendance at the annual Maryland State Police Fallen Heroes Ceremony, as well as award and promotion ceremonies and new trooper graduations.
Major Moyer’s service to citizens extended far beyond his public safety duties with the Maryland State Police and the Harford County Sheriff’s Office. He was a longtime youth coach who was a friend and mentor to hundreds of young people during his life. He coached many championship football, baseball, and basketball teams during almost four decades as a volunteer coach.
He was always helping people in need by providing financial or resource support. These acts of kindness were most often done without anyone other than those he helped being aware of who was responsible for the help and generosity.
Major Moyer and his wife Elaine raised three sons, David, Michael, and Steve. They enjoyed spending time together as a family and were especially fond of their four grandchildren. They instilled in their children and grandchildren the values of honesty, integrity, loyalty, commitment, and the importance of family. Their son Steve followed in his father’s footsteps. He had an outstanding career with the Maryland State Police, from which he retired as a bureau chief with the rank of lieutenant colonel. Just before his death, Major Moyer presented Steve’s son, Drew, with his State Police retirement badge.
Regardless of the rank he achieved in both the State Police and Sheriff’s Office, Major Moyer was known for always looking out for the road trooper or deputy. He never forgot where he came from and knew the importance of the men and women on the front lines of public safety service.
He is known by all those who served with him as a man who deeply loved both the Maryland State Police and the Harford County Sheriff’s Office. He is also remembered as a passionate fan of the Baltimore Colts, Baltimore Orioles, and Baltimore Ravens.
Major Moyer will be remembered for many things, including his sincere concern and compassion for the people he served. His life and career are reminders to those who knew him that if you truly want to and are willing to sacrifice your time, talent and resources, you can make a difference in the lives of others.
From Steve Moyer:
Major/Sheriff Ted Moyer passed away this evening at home at 7:35 p.m. My mother Elaine, brother Dave, sister in law Mary, and I were with him when he passed. My brother Mike and the rest of our immediate family joined us at Mom’s house to be together and pray as a family. Long time friend and almost adopted son Greg Pessagno and Pastor Art Justice joined the family at the house.
Major, Sheriff, Mr Ted, Coach, Ted, Teddy Bear, and Teddy grew up in Hagerstown but came to Harford County in 1951 as a trooper with the Maryland State Police. Dad did so much to keep Maryland and Harford County safe over the years for many. He dedicated his life to helping youth in Harford County by coaching, leading, and mentoring 100’s. He loved the Baltimore Colts, Baltimore Orioles, and Baltimore Ravens.
Ted loved his family and raised three boys who grew up in the Edgewood community and learned the values of good, honest, family living. Ted loved his grandchildren Dani, Kyle, Drew , and Kelsey.
A career cop who always looked out for the road patrol trooper or front line deputy. Ted loved the Maryland State Police and the Harford County Sheriff’s Office.
I have posted Dad’s picture as a tribute to his life and love for his family and the men and women of the Harford County Sheriff and the Maryland State Police!
We are hoping to have a memorial service on Saturday, September 22 with a reception to celebrate his life afterwards. Details to Follow!
Harford County Has Lost A Treasure! We Love You So Much!
God Bless Ted Moyer! I Love You Dad!
Steve, Mike, Dave, and Elaine