Thank you Lt. Goecke and the T-R

This is a long overdue letter to the Times-Republican, but a much needed one. Back on March 15, 2015 there appeared a marvelous article by Jeff Hutton regarding the efforts of Lt. Ryan Goecke of the Marshalltown Police Department and to learn more about Officer Glen Crouse, the only policeman killed in the line of duty in the city’s history, and to add his name to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. Glen Crouse was killed on Jan. 22, 1954 from the injuries he sustained in an icy crash following a pursuit of a suspected drunk driver. It was a tragedy that left a widow traumatized as well as a 13-year-old son. That son was named Dennis, and he would later raise a family of his own with a wife he was devoted to as well as three sons. I am the oldest of those offspring, and on behalf of myself and my brothers, I am writing to express something of the depth of our appreciation to Lt. Goecke and to the T-R for such a gratifying piece on our grandfather — a man we were never privileged to meet.

I am also writing to say that Dennis passed away during the summer of 2015 following a battle with cancer. His devoted wife of 53 years, Carolyn, preceded him in death eight months previous, and he felt that it was a broken heart that he was actually dying from, not cancer. By means of the internet, he had seen the article on his father when it was published, and, moreover, was able to watch the induction of his father to the memorial ceremony in Washington, D.C., led by Lt. Goecke, by means of a real-time video feed when it occurred. Later, a cousin mailed us a hard copy of the article. Of all things, it happened to arrive two days before he passed away, on the last full day in which he was completely conscious. On his death bed it was read aloud to him. Dennis seemed to derive great satisfaction from hearing the details described in the article, and, above all, by the efforts of Lt. Goecke. Acts of kindness are always to be treasured, but those coming from a stranger are even more precious. On behalf of the family, we cannot thank you enough, Lt. Goecke, for your curiosity, interest, diligence and sense of justice in bringing attention to the sacrifice of Glen Crouse on that terrible day in 1954.

Again, from the very, very bottom of our hearts, thank you Lt. Goecke and the T-R.