Emily Nollmeyer of Tacoma doesn't remember her father's funeral. She was 4 years old when Tacoma police officer Craig Nollmeyer was shot to death Jan. 24, 1985, on a domestic violence call.
A fight between a man and his wife escalated into gunfire. The man killed both his wife and Nollmeyer.
To commemorate the 25th anniversary of her father’s passing, Emily Nollmeyer hosted a dinner Sunday night in downtown Tacoma. More than 100 colleagues, friends and family members of Craig Nollmeyer gathered to celebrate the soft-spoken, devout man who played band in high school and made cabinets before becoming a police officer. The officer’s widow, Patty Rubottom, and son Trevor – now a Spokane police officer – were also in attendance.
“A part of me always wanted to meet these people who knew my father,” Emily Nollmeyer said. Her own memories are hazy; she recalls the smell of leather, pine sap and shoe polish, the sound of her father reading the Bible at bedtime.
At the Sunday dinner, guests lined up for heaping servings of lasagna, salad, cake, cookies and Craig Nollmeyer’s favorite dessert, apple pie. A table decorated with blue balloons carried old photographs, Craig Nollmeyer’s motorcycle helmet and a sign reading “Nollmeyer Lane,” a walkway that leads to the County-City Building in Tacoma named in honor of the officer.
Washington’s six law enforcement deaths in recent months stirred painful memories for Nollmeyer: “I’ve been on this journey for 25 years, and they’re just at the beginning. Knowing what they’re facing, it makes your heart hurt.”