Trooper Glenda Thomas
Glenda D. Thomas was born on October 28, 1955, in Pasco, Washington to parents Glenn Wallace Votendahl and Ruth Warner. She attended schools in the Tri-Cities area, graduating from Columbia High School in Burbank in 1973.
Before beginning her career with the Washington State Patrol, Thomas was the proud mother of two children: daughter, Jessica and son, Jason.
Thomas joined the Washington State Patrol on July 18, 1983, as a Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Officer in Yakima. She transferred to Yakima Communications four months later, then to the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Weight Control in Kennewick on January 3, 1984, and to her assignment at the Kennewick Vehicle Identification Lane in March 1984. Each move put Thomas one step closer to her true calling – to become a Washington State Trooper.
Trooper Glenda Thomas graduated on December 5, 1984, with the 60th trooper cadet class, assigned to the Seattle Freeway.
Trooper Glenda Thomas died on May 24, 1985, at the age of 29. She was killed while investigating a multi-vehicle collision on the north Seattle freeway. Trooper Thomas was standing between two vehicles at the collision scene when another car rear ended one of the vehicles involved in the earlier collision, pinning her between two automobiles. At the time of her death, Trooper Thomas had served only six months as a Trooper with the Washington State Patrol.
Trooper Thomas’s children, Jessica and Jason, live in the Tri-Cities area. Jessica is working in Pasco. She lives in Kennewick with her three youngest children: Emma (11), Ella (10) and Addy (. Her daughter Andrea (24) graduated from Western Washington University in Bellingham in 2021 with her undergraduate degree in human services and in the fall of 2022 was accepted at University of Washington. She is currently working on obtaining her master's degree. Jessica’s son, Joey (22) has recently accepted a conditional offer with Kennewick Police Department and is very excited to start his career in law enforcement. Jessica’s son, Eric (29) is working sales in Pasco.
Jason, a shop manager with Irrigation Specialists lives with his wife, Tammy and their two sons in Pasco. Cody (18) is graduating high school this year and working alongside his dad as an irrigation specialist. Cason (11) is in 6th grade, enjoying baseball and keeping his parents busy attending games and practices seven days a week.
Glenda's parents, Ruth and Glenn, raised Jessica and Jason. Glenn passed away in 2008, and Ruth passed away in 2014.
In May of 1997, Trooper Thomas was awarded the Medal of Honor, posthumously, for her actions on May 24, 1985, by the Law Enforcement – Medal of Honor Committee.
On Friday, May 20, 2016, a dedication ceremony of the memorial to honor and remember King County Troopers was held at the Bellevue District Office. When you visit the Bellevue District Office, take a moment to stop by the beautiful memorial that was created in remembrance of King County Troopers.
Memorial dedicated to Trooper Glenda D. Thomas, located at the Bellevue District Office.