Patrolman Ivan Belka
Ivan L. Belka was born on April 8, 1913, in Coos Bay, Oregon to Herman A. Belka and Lilly May Abernathy. One of five children, Belka was raised in the Poulsbo area and attended North Kitsap High School.
As an adult, Belka worked in the sawmill section of a pulp mill in Port Angeles. He also served with the Port Angeles Police Department and Pierce County Sheriff’s Office.
Belka married Mary Enos in Port Townsend on September 5, 1933, and welcomed their son, Ronald, in 1936.
Belka began his career with the Washington State Highway Patrol on December 20, 1941, as a radio operator in Port Angeles. He transferred to Vancouver in 1942, where he was commissioned as a patrolman, assigned to Kelso. Patrolman Belka married his second wife Jean Elizabeth Bower, a nurse, in Spokane on June 5, 1942.
Patrolman Belka resigned in April 1948, to work with the National Auto Theft Bureau in Seattle. Patrolman Belka rejoined the Washington State Highway Patrol in March of 1949, moving to Colville as an outpost patrolman.
Patrolman Belka died on August 18, 1951, at the age of 38. He died from injuries when a vehicle failed to yield to Patrolman Belka's patrol vehicle. At the time of his death, Patrolman Belka had served 8-1/2 years with the Washington State Patrol.
Patrolman Belka had one son, Ronald, who was only 14 at the time of his father's death. At the time, Patrolman Belka lived in Colville, and was going into Spokane to get the radio in his patrol car fixed, and had promised to take Ronald with him. When Ronald awoke the next day, excited to ride into town with his dad, he found that his dad had left without him. Ronald waited all day for his dad to return; only to find out he would never be coming home.
Ronald passed away on December 14, 2009. Ronald and his wife, Barbara, had four children (Ronda; Ron Belka, Jr.; Avery; and Aaron). Aaron Belka passed away at the age of 41 in 2015. Ronda, Ron Jr., and Avery live in California.
Patrolman Belka, and the other thirty WSP fallen officers, will be honored at the WSP Memorial Foundation dinner on April 16, 2022, at the Hilton in Vancouver, WA.
Please take a moment to remember Patrolman Ivan Belka and his family.