Chief Edward P. Kovacic, 1930-2018

Chief Kovacic

We are sad to learn that Chief Edward Kovacic passed away on September 30. Kovacic was instrumental in building the Greater Cleveland Peace Officers Memorial, and was a strong supporter of this organization.

Visitation Hours
Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2-4:30 p.m. and 6-9 p.m.
The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist
1007 Superior Ave., Cleveland

Funeral Mass
Thursday, Oct. 4, 10 a.m.
The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist
1007 Superior Ave., Cleveland

From the obituary for Chief Kovacic on

It is with much sadness in our hearts that we issue this statement about the passing of our family patriarch, Edward P. Kovacic. He is best known for being the Chief of Police for the City of Cleveland from 1990 through 1993. To quote an article written about him several years ago, he was “one good cop” and a “policeman’s policeman.” He was honored to be the Chief of Police, but enjoyed being a patrolman working the streets. But his story did not begin when he became a police officer.

He was born to John and Vera Kovacic on March 12, 1930. His father and mother were involved in Cleveland politics and his dad served as a City of Cleveland councilman and later at the federal level as the District Director of Customs. But if you asked Ed, his story began when he was in the first grade and met the love of his life, Barbara Kovacic, (she was in kindergarten). They married in 1951 and had six children. He had given his family a sense of purpose and service. His children either went on to public service in local government or volunteered to help make the world a little better.

No one loved being a police officer more than Ed Kovacic. He did not like the term “cop,” he preferred “police officer.” it was more respectful. His integrity was unmatched. He expected the same integrity from every police officer who served. Ed was one of the founders of The Cleveland Police Memorial and The Cleveland Police Foundation. He and Barbara were staunch supporters of the Police Memorial, Cleveland Police Pipe and Drum and The Cleveland Police Foundation. This helped him stay connected with his police family after he left the department.

Ed Kovacic was the beloved husband for 67 years to Barbara (nee Ward). Devoted father of Mary (Bill) Denihan, Edward (Sharon Neu), Daniel (Dorothy Hale), Thomas (Barbara), Noreen (Jon) Prescott and Coleen (James) Nola. Loving grandfather of 12, He was preceded in death by granddaughter Tracey Vukovic. Dearest great-grandfather of 11. Dear brother of Patricia Walton and John (deceased); loving in-laws, the Ward family. Ed was uncle to many, many nieces and nephews, and cousin to many including fellow retired police officer Edward (Buddy) Kovacic.

For over 20 years, he coached the St. Jerome’s Parish CYO football team. He inspired some of those young men to follow in his footsteps and become police officers as well.

Visitation is Wednesday, October 3, 2018, 2 – 4:30pm and 6 – 9pm at The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, 1007 Superior Ave., Cleveland Ohio 44114. Funeral Mass Thursday at 10am at The Cathedral of St. John. Concelebrating the Mass Of Christian Burial, Most Rev. Nelson Perez, our Bishop. Interment Sunset Memorial Park Cemetery.  Arrangements by Craciun Berry Funeral Home, 216- 281-7300.

At the age of 88, Ed Kovacic died on September 30, 2018, the day after enduring a massive stroke. He was surrounded by his children and grandchildren and the love of his life, Barbara. The Kovacic family knows the impact of Ed Kovacic. We know that we are not the only ones hurting over the loss of this truly great man. We wish to thank the community for your outpouring of love and support.