Ed VanLeeuwen #2921, retired Seattle Police Officer and Stationmaster passed away on March 5, 2016 at the age of 78.
Ed was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. He attended the Salt Lake School System. He met his future wife, Patricia while in high school. He graduated from West High in 1957 after playing football and participating in track for three seasons. He got a sports scholarship to Westminster College to play football. But in 1959 his family supported him to do his missionary work in Hawaii. Ed liked this calling so he stayed a full two years in his mission field.
He returned to Salt Lake in 1961 and married Pat in September. Now it was time to begin raising a family so he got a job with Hercules Powder Company, a sub-contractor on the Minute Man Missile Program in Bacchus, Utah. In late 1966 the Seattle Police Department was conducting a multi-state recruiting effort. Ed saw the advertisement and applied to take the test. He tested successfully in 1967 and landed the job offer. But Ed was slow accepting the Department’s job offer due to his wrestling commitments. Ed wrestled as the Mad Russian (a cold war moniker) and his brother Tom wrestled as the Masked Marvel (there was, and is no shortage of this bad guy.) This evil duo helped civic groups and churches raise money. This was an extension of his commitment to missionary work. After his final match, he moved his family to Seattle in June 1968.
His first day in Patrol was June 21, 1968 working out of the Wallingford Precinct. He worked a one-man car there for six months before attending the Academy on the second floor of the PSB. After graduation, he was assigned to Georgetown First Watch. His sergeant was Morey Skaret #406. His new partner was Gary Lysne #2846. Gary and Ed were the only two-man car west of I-5 so they were assigned the disturbance calls. One shift they were recovering an unoccupied stolen vehicle when Radio broadcast a rolling stolen, so they dropped the paper and responded. After a short chase, the suspect pulled over and attempted to flee on foot. Gary being smaller (220 lbs.) than Ed’s 320 lbs., caught the suspect after a short foot pursuit and started to control him. Ed was farther behind but building speed which he could not control. He bowled into Gary and the suspect, knocking both on the ground. Ed had to help both of them up. Gary and the suspect claimed they felt like bowling pins. The suspect promised never to caper in their district again.
After two years together Gary told Ed he was tired of the suspects starting a fight with him because he was the little guy. So he had accepted a new job as Officer Friendly. Ed said, “No problem, I understand.” The first few days in the new assignment went well, and then suddenly the teachers weren’t so friendly. Eventually Gary learned Ed was writing parking tickets to all the teachers parked illegally.
In 1972 Ed got a new partner, Dave Rogge #3650. They were the heavy car but not as heavy as before, thus Jim Mangan #2173 (an ex-UW football player) would back them up. So their weight on the hoof was still well over 600 pounds. Ed and Dave were chosen to try out a new Patrol car tire. They came up with the ideal test. They drove to West Seattle Golf Course and into the blackberry bushes to pick berries without exiting the car. The rocks, sticks and thorns did not puncture the new tires. The tires passed the try out and became standard issue. Dave and Ed worked together for the next three years. They made one of the largest hash arrests up to that time period. In 1976 Ed took over Jim Mangan’s old district and worked alone until he retired on March 25, 1992 after 24 years. With the help of his sergeant, Dan Cameron #2192, Ed got both his hip injuries repaired - a result of his wrestling days, so he could apply for the South Precinct’s Stationmaster position. He got the job and worked for another eight years. Ed’s total career with the Department was 32 years.
Ed envisioned the world as his missionary field and it fit in with his love of the job. During the Christmas season he would drive through the projects playing Christmas carols over his squad car’s PA. In retirement he moved back to Utah and worked with youth groups.
Ed’s son Mark preceded him in death. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Pat; four daughters, Leilani, Patty, Maile, and Kanani; two sons, Mike and Ric; and twelve grandchildren.