William K. ‘Bill’ Nelson: Retired Edmonds police officer wants to be remembered as ‘a happy man’

Bill Nelson

William “Bill” K. Nelson Jr. – born in Marion, Indiana, passed away peacefully in his home in Edmonds, Washington Friday, June 21. His loving wife of over 42 years, Molly, was by his side.

Bill was a 1971 graduate of Marion High School. Then, he obtained his Bachelor’s degree from Eastern Kentucky University in 1974 and later earned his Master’s degree from Indiana University. After EKU, Bill was hired with the Ft. Wayne Police Department, where he served for over 20 years. He was promoted to the rank of Captain, eventually becoming the Director of Training. He then retired and moved to Edmonds, Washington with his family. He continued his service as a Patrol Officer with the Edmonds Police Department for nearly another 20 years. He retired for a second time and continued working as a Federal Court Security Officer. Bill had a passion for Law Enforcement.

Bill was a member of John. L. McCulloch Chapter of the Order of DeMolay and a member of McCulloch Masonic Lodge both in Marion, Indiana. Bill was also the President of the Edmonds Police Foundation.

Bill is survived by his amazing wife, Molly; their 2 sons, Keith (Sarah) and Todd (Valerie); his brother Tom (Audrey); his cousin Gene Ann Weber of Marion; and 5 grandchildren, Gage, Ashlynn, William, Peyton and Cameron. He also has a nephew (Tom Jr) and niece (Stephanie) and their families as well.

Bill would like to be remembered as a family man, a loving and loyal husband and a happy man; which was always evident by his contagious smile.

The Nelson family would like to express their gratitude to the Virginia Mason Oncology
Department and to Evergreen Hospice Home Care for their excellent care of Bill.
In lieu of flowers the family would request memorial contributions be made to the Edmonds Police Foundation in Bill’s memory (Edmonds Police Foundation, Post Office Box 303, Edmonds Washington 98020).

20 Replies to “William K. ‘Bill’ Nelson: Retired Edmonds police officer wants to be remembered as ‘a happy man’”

  1. Bill was exactly as advertised. Dedicated to Molly, his family and the Edmonds PD. A smile always on his face especially when talking about his Hoosiers or sitting in his spot at Starbucks. I appreciate his never ending concern for me as mayor and as a friend through the years. A good man. He will be missed

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  2. I was in DeMolay with Bill those many years ago, and what you came to know out here was exactly the same as I knew him then. He was dedicated to others, because he was dedicated to the ideals he grew up with. To know Bill mad one a truly fortunate individual. To be his friend, even more so.

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  3. A content & happy man, Bill had a heart of gold and was committed to serve his Edmonds PD, his community and had a smile for all. I had the privilege of working along side Bill as his VP and I can share with confidence that he’ll be missed. There are those few in our lives that leave an impression to last the test of time, I’m honored to have had Bill share some of his life with me. You’ll be with us on July 25th I know & my friend we will remember you always,

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  4. For several years before Bill’s retirement my wife and I on our daily walk would briefly stop to chat with him as he set in his vehicle alongside city park on 3rd ave.; he always rolled down his window with a smile. We thanked him for using his radar to stop the speeders on their way to the ferry. We missed seeing him after he retired.

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  5. I will miss Mr. Bill…. one of my Starbucks friends. Mr. Bill had an incredible smile that showed what a happy man he was. I will miss him. I’m so sadden. My condolences to the Nelson family.

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  6. What a guy! Working with Bill was a pleasure. And fun. I’m going to miss our discussions about Bob ‘The General’ Knight & the Indiana Hoosiers Basketball program. Both of us were huge fans of Coach Knight. Additionally going to miss conversing with Bill about the “old” International Hockey League’s Fort Wayne Komets. Especially when we discussed games against my hometown team the Muskegon (MI) Zephyrs/Lumberjacks/Fury. Bill was a great guy with a heart of gold and will be missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him.

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  7. Bill was an Honorable Man, with the highest level of integrity, commitment to service, Love of Family and Loyal Friend to many. To the Nelson family my prayers and support at this difficult time and always.

    You will be missed my Brother in Blue and Brother DeMolay & Master Mason.

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  8. Bill was on the academy staff when I came through as a recruit in 1982, he was also one of my training officers when I graduated. I learned so much from this man! His intregity and dedication to duty were an inspiration. His devotion and love for his family were unmatched. RIP Captain Nelson, my sincere condolences to his loving family.

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  9. We saw Bill patrolling in our neighborhood of Seaview one Summer day. My son was 3 at the time. Bill stopped to say ‘hi’ because my son was waving at him. He stopped an let Noah sit in his police car and answered all his questions. We haven’t forgotten his kindness and patience that Summer afternoon.

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  10. I was privileged to serve with Bill in Fort Wayne and am saddened by his passing. He was truly a people person with a servant’s heart. My condolences to Molly and the rest of his family.

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  11. My sincerest condolences to Bill’s wife, Molly, who I frequently saw at his side at Starbucks, and to his family at large. Bill was such a fantastic, professional, positive man and the finest example of a law enforcement officer possible. I had the pleasure of working with him for 12 years at EPD and I will always remember and appreciate his participation in Edmonds Night Out, where I could count on him to open up his immaculate patrol car to an abundance of citizens and kids who sat inside & took photos with him! Bill was so kind and willing to talk with everyone and anyone, always held a smile, and commanded a visible respect for his profession and himself without even trying. He will be missed by many.

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  12. Bill was my Captain at the Fort Wayne Police Dept. I had so much respect and admiration for him.
    I will never forget a very high compliment he gave me, he told me that I was 1 out of 3 officers that he would work with on the streets. Capt. Nelson will be remembered and respected by all that made his acquaintance on the FWPD. God bless his family and Capt Nelson Sir may you RIP….. SIGNAL 88

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  13. Bill was my academy instructor over 33 years ago in Fort Wayne. He was the constant professional with a heart of gold. As a young officer I looked to him for knowledge about our profession and as a 33 year veteran I am proud to say I still look up to him. Bill will live on in those lives he touched.

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  14. So sorry to hear about Bill. Sounds like he was a really good man involved in many good things. May God give peace and strength to his family and many friends, now, and the days ahead. Prayers for you, Keith and your family. Bill and Paula Bentley

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  15. What a super guy! Bill was great to work with and was always enjoyable. As a law enforcement professional he was “by the book”, but still maintained the most pleasant demeanor. He was well liked by everyone that I know and will be missed. Condolences to Molly and the entire family.

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  16. I did not have the pleasure of knowing Mr Nelson, but from what many have said, I’m the loser for not knowing him. I served for a number of years as Dean of Students at a high-school; in other words, to some degree I was “head cop.” I got to see far too many kids who were in trouble, and it weighted on me. Any policeman who can maintain Mr Nelson’s obvious good nature, and want to be remembered as happy – my hat’s off to him. We need more such.

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  17. Nearly every officer at Edmonds PD has a Bill Nelson story, because Bill Nelson trained nearly every officer there. Supremely kind, tough as nails, and painfully honest, Bill is largely responsible for the high caliber of service and integrity residents enjoy in Edmonds. His legacy lives on through the countless lives he touched as a mentor, a community servant, and a friend.

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  18. Bill was one of those individuals who touched so many lives directly and indirectly. He did mine. He was the type of person you would want to be your big brother. He treated like he was. We are blessed to have had him in all our lives.

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  19. Bill was truly a happy man.
    I looked forward to seeing Bill at Starbucks and our chats.
    You will be missed Bill but, not forgotten.

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