On August 3, 2012, Edward (“Jeep”) Bielke crested the wave of perfect endless summers. Born March 1, 1955 in Casablanca, Africa, he traveled the world as a child with his military family. Ed worked for the University of Texas Police Department for twenty-eight years until a diagnosis of brain cancer forced his retirement nine years ago. While there, one of his crowning achievements was being named to the “100 Club of Austin” for saving a man’s life. He was a loving, devoted family man who enjoyed surfing, history, Hot Rods and laughing with his friends and family. He was never at a loss for stories to tell or jokes to play. In 1977, Ed met the love of his life, Cheri Hamilton. They were married March 18, 1978 and have never been apart. Their marriage produced two wonderful children: A daugher, Alexis for whom words could never adequately express his love. (He went from sleeping on the floor next to her crib to walking her down the aisle). Alexis married Nathan Young and they gave Ed a beautiful grandchild, Maverick Austin. A son, Clayton, who filled him with neverending pride and joy. (He never missed a baseball or football game and loved cheering in the stands). Ed was predeceased by his father, Edward II. He leaves behind to cherish his memory his daugher Alexis and Nathan Young (grandson Maverick), son Clayton, mother Carol, sister Debbie (Maurice Pitts), brothers-in-law Roger and Glenn Hamilton (Jan), and many special cousins, nieces and nephews, and extended family and friends. Lastly, his wife of 34 years, Cheri. For no truer love was ever known, for he is, and will remain, her best friend.
Officer Gene Allen Whittey
Dec. 1, 1950 - March 3, 2013
Gene Allen Whittey, beloved husband, father, brother, grandfather, great grandfather and friend, went home to his Lord and Savior, Sunday March 3, 2013 at the age of 62. He was surrounded by family at his home in Holyrood KS. He was born Dec. 1, 1950 in Reno NV to Robert and Emilia (Marrapo) Whittey. Gene was most recently the Chief of Police of Holyrood KS, Barton County 911 dispatcher in Great Bend KS and member of the Holyrood American Legion. He served in the US Army overseas during Vietnam. He was retired from the Sparks NV Police Department, where he was Rookie of the Year, training officer, a detective and SWAT commander. Gene also worked for Pioneer Human Services in Sedro Woolley WA and was program director at Pioneer DOSA West, in Seattle WA.
Gene married the love of his life Carol May on May 6, 2000 in Custer WA. Gene is survived by his wife Carol Whittey of Holyrood. His daughters, Chi Whittey-Kraeber of Sparks NV, Beth Whittey-Quynh of Dallas TX, Peggy Deem of Lynden WA and Debbie Van Dyken of Nooksack WA. His sons Marshall Whittey of Chicago IL and John Westlake of St. Croix BVI, his Brother Robert Whittey of Reno NV, nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren
Here is a story by his Son in law Calvin Deem:
I just wanted to share with you the story of my step father in-law. Gene Whittey, lost his 13 month battle with cancer on March 3 2013. He was severing as Chief of Police in Holyrood KS. He loved to serve people. Alto he died in Kansas, he lived much of his life in Washington, serving for many years at Pioneer Center North in Sedro Woolley WA. He joined our family on May 6, 2000 in my back yard as he married my mother in-law and he just fit right in and took the lead in our family like he had been with us for 30 years.
Thank You for your service to these brave Men and Woman.
January 2, 2014, former Washington State Patrol Trooper Mike Buckingham passed away following his battle with cancer.
Mike was a longtime supporter of public safety and participant in many Kent Fire Department RFA events. Those events included numerous Gift of Life presentations and Boeing Kids Day. He also worked for the Kent Police Department’s Drinking, Driving Task Force as well as the Kent Police Traffic School. In 2001 he was awarded the Distinguished Service Award from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) for his many contributions.
Outside of the Kent Police and Fire Departments, Mike taught driver-ed classes, and was part of the King County Traffic Safety Commission. He also gave speeches for ICBC (Insurance Corporation of British Columbia) as a road safety speaker and was a board member of the WSP Memorial Foundation.
Mike’s expertise was hard won. In 1981 he was severely burned when his patrol car and a drunk driver’s vehicle he was pursing crashed into each other. Because of the severity of his burns, he was never able to return to active police duty, dedicating his life instead to other forms of public safety.
The Mike Buckingham Award has been created by the Washington State Patrol. This award goes to WSP employees who have been involved in a critical incident and suffered significant physical injuries.
Commander Greg Goral, Black Diamond Police
Greg and his wife Angel are blessed with an amazing love for each other and two beautiful daughters. Greg started his career with the Albuquerque Police Department where he served in various assignments, including Patrol, Vice, and Criminal Intelligence. During his tenure there he was awarded a Meritorious Medal for his and two other officers’ actions during an apartment fire. After ten years serving the citizens of Albuquerque, Greg and his family decided to relocate to Washington State in 2004. Greg became a Commander with the Black Diamond Police Department where he enjoyed the atmosphere a small community could provide. Greg oversaw the day-to-day operations within the Black Diamond Police Department which includes Patrol, Investigations, and Marine Services. In August of 2012, after 40 years of great health, Greg had one-time severe pain in his abdomen, it was determined his appendix needed to come out. It was after this surgery that the battle began. Greg and his family learned that a small cancerous tumor inside the appendix was the cause for the appendicitis attack. Not taking any chances a decision was made to meet with the experts at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and the University of Washington. Appendix Cancer is an extremely rare cancer that tends to be aggressive in nature and spreads throughout the abdomen rapidly.
Greg and his family remained positive and never wavered from their faith in Jesus. Greg fought his fight with faith and bravery until he went home to be with the Lord on August 16,2015. He made a impact on many and will always be a treasure in our hearts.