CEDARVILLE — He was known for his personality.
And for his sense of humor and ability to entertain.
To some he was the voice of a childhood. And to others the last link to the past.
But to anyone who ever met Charles Keith Sheridan, he was known as a friend.
Sheridan, a member of the Ohio Auctioneers Association Hall of Fame, died at the age of 81 Thursday morning after a lengthy illness.
Born in Springfield and raised near Yellow Springs before ultimately settling in Cedarville, Sheridan set the standard for auctioneers everywhere.
“If you’re an auctioneer, you know Keith Sheridan,” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said by phone Friday. “Not just in Ohio, across the country. To go to one of Keith’s auctions was a great pleasure, even if you weren’t going to buy anything. Keith entertained you. He had the ability, as a good auctioneer does, to get the most for his client, the seller. That was that personal relationship.”
DeWine, who also grew up in Yellow Springs and now lives near Cedarville, first met Sheridan while in junior high school. Sheridan worked at the DeWine Seed Company, taking grain to to the elevator.
“My father and grandfather, this is when he was still in high school, they were so impressed with him and his great personality, when he graduated from high school, they offered him a job to become a salesman,” DeWine said. “That’s just how much confidence they had in him in his ability and his ability to deal with people.”
Sheridan eventually purchased Cedarville Feed & Grain and ran that until becoming an auctioneer in the late 1970s.
He was a fixture around Greene County and according to a post on the Sheridan & Associates Facebook page, ” … the type of person who captivated a room and was a leader in all he did. Keith loved people and often entertained clients, customers, friends, and large groups with his volume of life stories, many of which his family members could quote along with him.”
“Keith was the voice of my childhood,” said auctioneer Samantha Gilliland. “I grew up not only in the same town as him but a couple doors down from him and his wife, and their auction and real estate office. I grew up listening to him at not only auctions but high school football games and basketball games and all of our fair and 4-H events. So he was really the voice of my entire childhood.”
For DeWine, Sheridan linked the past to the present.
“He’s a very important person in my life,” DeWine said. “Keith is the last person left, that lives around here, from that part of my life. For me it was really my last link to my growing up and my past.”
Sheridan was also very much a part of the current day DeWine family, as he served as emcee at nearly every DeWine ice cream social — a tradition dating back to DeWine’s first candidacy for Greene County prosecutor.
“Fran and I asked him if he would be the emcee at the ice cream social,” DeWine said. “He was the natural person. He was our neighbor. He was our friend. If we ever did a public event we always asked Keith to emcee it because there was nobody better. He combined a great personality with a great work ethic. That legacy is left with his children and his grandchildren.”
It was as an auctioneer where he had the biggest influence on people.
“He was also the reason I wanted to become an auctioneer,” Gilliland said. “He has given me something to strive for, a greatness just like his. He has given me the love of auctions, the courage to get behind that mic and call bids, but also to strive to be an extreme role model for the community and public. He was a great auctioneer but an even better man.”
According to a post on the Sheridan & Associates Facebook page, Sheridan grew the business from a card table in a spare room of his home to a regional leader in the auction and real estate industry.
“Today, our business benefits daily from the work he did and the person he was,” the post said.
Sheridan is survived by his wife of 54 years, June Sheridan, his daughter and son-in-law Sharon and Jerry Flatter, his two sons and daughters-in-law Bart and Sandy Sheridan and Matt and Julie Sheridan, nine grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.