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.
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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.”