Medal for Seattle Police Officer Killed in 1935
The medal is bestowed upon officers who have distinguished themselves through exceptional conduct, or who have been killed in the line of duty.
“I thought my dad qualified,” she said.
Her father, Olof F. Wilson, was on foot patrol in Interbay the evening of March 31, 1935, when he crossed West Dravus Street and 15th Avenue West to answer a police call box.
He was struck by a drunken driver and killed, leaving behind his wife, a son and his then-13-year-old daughter.
Ready, now 89, called the Police Department and spoke with Sgt. Ty Elster, commander of the department’s honor guard. He agreed with Ready.
Elster has made it his mission to ensure that the families of every officer whose name is etched on the Memorial Wall at police headquarters know their sacrifice has not been forgotten.
“We want them to know that once you’re part of the family, you’re always part of the family,” he said.
On Monday, 76 years after her father was killed, Ready accepted the Medal of Honor on behalf of Officer Wilson.
State Attorney General Rob McKenna draped the medallion around Ready’s neck during a ceremony at police headquarters.
“We’re very, very happy that Olof Wilson is being recognized,” McKenna said.
“It helps us be sure that his sacrifice will be remembered.”
Assistant Police Chief Nick Metz said, “It doesn’t matter how long ago it was … it still hurts us.”
Ready, the widow of a police officer, said her father’s death was a tragedy that resonated around the community.
“He was so well loved,” she said.
Her father, a big, tall Swede, had married her mother, Oka Wilson, around the time he served in the military during World War I, she said.
When he returned, he worked on the railroads and then joined the Police Department in 1925.
Four generations of the family attended Monday’s ceremony, including Wilson’s great-grandson Brady Clark and his son Jasper, 2.
Clark said he grew up hearing stories about his great-grandfather and how much he loved police work.
“I’m excited for my grandmother,” he said. “This has made her very happy.”
Seattle Times staff reporter
Christine Clarridge: 206-464-8983 or [email protected]