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Public Safety News
Oscar Ekelund
by Jim Guidry
Saturday, November 05, 2011

Oscar Ekelund, a lifelong Galveston lawman, passed away on Friday. 

Ekelund was born on September 17, 1930 in Galveston and remained on the island for all of his life except during his service in the United States Army.  In Galveston he served the community as a lawman and baker.  His career is detailed in his obituary. Obituary

Galveston County Sheriff Freddie Poor said that Eklund's death is a great loss to the city of Galveston and Galveston County.

"Oscar Ekelund was held in high esteem by all that knew him," Poor said. "He was a great humanitarian. He saved the lives of many young people that are lot better off today because Oscar Ekelund was there to put them on the right path years ago. He was a very good friend. I was honored to work with him for many years"

Poor said that Ekelund was the epitome of a police officer. 

"He was caring, he was always there to protect those who couldn’t protect themselves; and he was a great family man.  Not only his immediate family, but also his law enforcement family as well.  We are all going to miss Oscar very much.  He was one of a kind and there will never be another Oscar Ekelund."

Former Galveston County Judge Jim Yarbrough agreed that Ekelund was unique.

"Every time I talked to him
it was like hearing a history lesson on Galveston," Yarbrough said. "He loved his Ball High football, the Tornettes and Galveston. (The city of) Galveston and certainly I am better for having known Oscar. He will be missed. He reminds me of Jimmy Stewart in 'It's a Wonderful Life' -- impacted so many and probably didn't even know it!"

Vandy Anderson shared his thoughts with Guidry News Service.

"Oscar was the greatest storyteller I have ever had the fortune to know," Anderson said.  "I first knew him when he was a police officer when I was in high school.  He was a solid mentor to thousands of Galveston kids.  He still spun his great Galveston yarns until the very last last days of his life.  And he leaves behind a great and devoted family."

Jim Guidry interviewed Ekelund in 2009, shortly after he retired from the Galveston County Sheriff's Office, where he served as a bailiff in the court of Judge Wayne Mallia. 

Ekelund talked about his more than five decades in law enforcement, as well as his career as a baker that began before he got his badge and gun.  Listen: RealPlayer MP3

Ekelund said his law enforcement career began when he told two police officer friends that he heard there were openings on the force.

"Both of them said, 'Go down there and tell Chief Burns to hire you'," Ekelund recalled. "So I went down and came on the police department October 23, 1953. I started walking the beat on Market Street."

Ekelund took a short leave from the Galveston Police Department to become Port of Galveston Police Chief; and later served as Moody Gardens Police Chief when he retired from GPD.

In the interview Ekelund talked about some of Galveston's famous personalities and infamous characters.




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