MAL Waterhouse will long be remembered as one of Ballarat’s most respected police officers.
Tributes are flowing for Mr Waterhouse , 77, who died peacefully on Friday night.
Best known for apprehending a deranged murderer who had just killed his wife and one of his own children in 1974, Mr Waterhouse served as one of Ballarat’s most respected police officers for more than 40 years.
Mr Waterhouse suffered life-threatening stab wounds in the incident, but continued to serve as a police officer for decades to come.
His only son, Peter, yesterday remembered his late father as a man who took the positive out of every possible situation.
Mr Waterhouse had battled Parkinson’s disease for years.
“It was sad to see how he was deteriorating, but for him he saw it as a chance to spend time with the people he loved,” Peter said.
“We couldn’t bear to see the pain he was in and what he was going through.”
Peter said he remembered growing up as a child in Ballarat, jokingly admitting it was impossible to do anything without his father knowing.
“His positive demeanour and attitude was remarkable, he never had a bad word to say about anyone,” he said.
Ballarat Police Superintendent Andrew Allen remembered Mr Waterhouse as the perfect mentor - a police officer who was “legendary around Ballarat”.
He had visited Mr Waterhouse as recently as last Wednesday.
“It’s very sad in the policing community to lose one of your own, especially someone like Mal,” Superintendent Allen said.
“He was highly regarded and highly respected.”
Mr Waterhouse was awarded the Victoria Police Valour Award shortly after the incident in 1974, which is the highest possible award police officers can receive.
He also received the Victoria Police Star in 2010, which honours officers who are killed or seriously injured while they are members of the force.
Mr Waterhouse is survived by his three children Peter, Petrina and Sandi and his six grandchildren.
His funeral will be held at St Peter’s Anglican Church on Wednesday.