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Weight Control Officer Joseph Modlin

Joseph Modlin was born on May 22, 1914, to Howard and Nellie Modlin in New Castle, Indiana.  He and his sister Margaret were raised in Indianapolis, Indiana.


Modlin moved to Detroit, Michigan where he enlisted in the United States Army on June 16, 1941.  Modlin served four years and three months as a master sergeant in the 738th Tank Battalion in Central Europe during World War II.


While in the Army, Modlin met the love of his life, Elaine Wagner on a blind date at Whistling Jacks in Naches, Washington.  The two were married in 1945.  After his military tour, Modlin found himself back in Detroit where he worked for General Motors. 


The couple eventually moved to Sunnyside, where Modlin worked at the Carnation Milk Plant.  Modlin then spent a decade owning and operating a radiator repair shop.  Modlin and his wife welcomed three daughters, Luanne, Bobbe and Karen, all born in Yakima. 


The family moved to Goldendale in 1955, where Modlin had a multitude of endeavors.  He worked as a radiator man before opening his own radiator shop.  He then opened his own grocery store and drove a local school bus.  Modlin served as a Klickitat County Sheriff’s deputy from 1963 to 1967.  His career with the Washington State Patrol began in 1968, as a communications officer.  He promoted to weight control officer on December 19, 1969, assigned to Vancouver.


Weight Control Officer Joseph Modlin died on August 15, 1974, at the age of 60.  He was killed when he was struck by a logging truck at the Home Valley weigh station.  At the time of his death, Weight Control Officer Modlin had served six years with the Washington State Patrol.


Weight Control Officer Joseph Modlin's wife, Elaine, passed away in July 2020.  Bobbe Anderson lives in The Dalles, Oregon, Luanne Mason lives in Naches, Washington, and Karen Louiselle lives in Mt. Hood, Oregon.


Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Bureau recognizes and acknowledges the sacrifices of the brave men and women in Commercial Vehicle Enforcement in furthering public safety.  The Core Values Award is presented in Weight Control Officer Modlin’s memory to a graduate of each CVEO Basic Class.  Weight Control Officer Modlin's daughter, Luanne, presents the award to the selected recipient.


The Ridgefield Port of Entry and memorial dedication for Weight Control Officer Joseph Modlin took place in January 2020.



On January 30, 2020, the Washington State Patrol Motor Carrier Safety Division celebrated the grand opening and dedication of the newly built Ridgefield Port of Entry (POE). As part of the dedication ceremony, a memorial plaque for Weight Control Officer Joseph Modlin was unveiled.

Washington State Patrol

Weight Control Officer Joseph Modlin 
End of Watch – August 15, 1974
Gone But Never Forgotten 

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