Retired Seattle Police Officers Association

Last Ring

Take a moment to remember our friends and associates who have passed.

Bob Caruth #2244, Seattle Police Patrol Sergeant, passed away on December 12, 2021, at the age of 82.

Bob was born in St. Paul, Minnesota. The family moved to Seattle by the Aurora Bridge. He attended Lincoln High and then transferred to Queen Anne. He played baseball at each school he attended. He graduated in 1958 and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Reserves. After his military training, he returned home to begin looking for a job. He landed one at Boeing in 1959 working in the inventory department. Now that he had a salary plus his military reserve income, he felt he could marry his fiancée, Jacqueline. They were married on May 1, 1959. Bob continued to work at Boeing until the City began advertising for police officers for the upcoming World Fair “Century 21”. Bob was tired of working at Boeing and liked the Police Department’s hiring promotions, so he applied. He was hired on March 13, 1962. He was immediately assigned to the Seattle Center to work patrolling the world fair site for the rest of the year.

He attended academy class #45 with Al Terry #2243, Jim Fisk #2249, Wendy DeBoer #2230, Dick Hume #2223, John Boren #2235, Howard Bans #2218 and Craig VandePutte #2246. After the academy he was assigned to Patrol in the Central Precinct working both East and West. He stayed working the Central Precinct, which is now the empty hole at 3rd and James, for the next 10 years. He joined the Marching Drill Team/Honor Guard rising to team lieutenant. He also played on the Department’s softball team. He was a member of the infamous hunting group made up of Carl Sandbeck #1841, Billy Sands #1240, John Dempsy #1197, and John Terskin #1871. In 1967, Bob partnered up with Ken Baggen #2523, a young officer that he met on the drill team. Bob taught Ken to be a better policeman and Jackie adopted him as her fifth overgrown child. They worked “The Hill” and later Bell Town for the next three years on 3rd watch and later the 5pm to 1am power shift. During the 1970 SeaFair week, Bob and Ken had a baseball game in the early afternoon then marched in the Torch Light Parade. Afterwards they had to work patrol for the rest of their shift. During which they handled three homicides. By the time they finished all the paperwork, their next shift was about to start so no rest. Towards the end of this shift, they were exhausted, so they took a nap but were caught by a concerned citizen checking on them. About 30 minutes later they were dispatched to the captain’s office to see Major Schulteis. They thought the citizen had reported them and Schulteis would be mad. Well, they prepared their excuses and humbly marched in prepared to take one of his famous chewing outs and more. All he said was “Baggen, you are assigned to the Tac Squad and Caruth, you are going to three wheelers. Now get back on the street.” Instead of discipline, they each got their dream assignments. Bob worked parking enforcement for 2 ½ years. Then he was assigned to the Seattle Center, where he first patrolled when hired, for the next seven years working night shifts for lieutenants Wally Long #1097, then Bob Deforest #1483 and later Pat Murphy #1653. On April Fool’s 1981, Bob was promoted to sergeant and assigned to the North Precinct for the next thirteen years. In 1992, when Baggen married Denise, Bob was best man and Carl Sandbeck was the witness and audience of one while Judge Mark Chow performed the wedding ceremony in his chambers. Afterwards, all smoked cigars and drank champagne. Bob retired on April 4, 1993, with 31 years of service.

During his first three years of retirement, he worked for Joe Sanford #1896 as a Seattle Municipal Court Marshall. Then he and Jackie moved to Orting onto a small five-acre farm. They built their dream house and lived there for 19 years. Then they moved to Puyallup for three years. Finally, they moved to Idaho to be closer to their four daughters and thirteen grandchildren. He continued to fish, bowl, woodwork, and restore furniture but his favorite activity was being with his wife and spending time with their daughters and their grandchildren. He was a great dad to his daughters and a great grandfather to his grandchildren.

Bob is survived by his wife of 62 years, Jackie, four daughters Pam, Christina, Gayle, and Jill, thirteen grandchildren and fifteen great grandchildren.