Former commissioner was active in politics


POSTED: Thursday, November 26, 2009

Olga Waterhouse, the first woman to head the Honolulu Police Commission, died Nov. 4 in Honolulu. She was 91.

Appointed to the commission in 1959, she became its first chairwoman in 1961.

Active in the Republican Party since moving to Hawaii in the mid-1940s, she served in various party positions from president of her precinct club to district chairwoman.

She was a delegate to two national presidential conventions, in 1972 and 1980, when Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan were the nominees.

In 1970, she was named volunteer of the year by the American Red Cross, Hawaii State Chapter.

Waterhouse served on the Citizens Advisory Committee of Castle Medical Center and was a substitute teacher at Kailua High School. She also worked at local polling places or at the ballot counting center in nearly every election between 1948 and 2004.

She was active in Masonic organizations, serving as Worthy Matron of the Order of Eastern Star, High Priestess of the White Shrine of Jerusalem and Color Bearer, Daughters of the Nile. She also was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Born in Chicago, she grew up in Long Beach, Calif.

After living several years in Waimanalo and then Nuuanu, she and her husband, Wallace T. Waterhouse, moved to Kailua in the mid-1950s.

One of the stories she told when reminiscing about 1950s Kailua was that there were only two police officers serving the entire area from Makapuu to Kahuku. She brought this to the attention of elected officials, thus starting her entree into the local political arena.

Her husband died in 2007. She is survived by two daughters, Corinne Waterhouse of Kailua and Eleanor Waterhouse of Asheville, N.C.; a sister, Dutch von W. Schubert of Honolulu; two grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Memorial contributions can be made to: Hawaii Republican Party, P.O. Box 4319, Honolulu HI 96812; or Shriners Hospitals for Children, Patient Transportation Fund, 1310 Punahou St., Honolulu HI 96826.

No services will be held.