Long-Time Police Reserve Dies Following Surgery

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Funeral services for Payson police reserve Gene Podschweit, 62, will be held Saturday, at Mount Cross Lutheran Church in Payson.

Podschweit, a 17-year employee of the Payson Police Department, died Saturday at the Arizona Heart Hospital in Phoenix following complications from surgery.

Born in Aurora, Ill., Podschweit became a reserve officer there and served for 20 years.

A resident of Payson for 28 years, Podschweit owned and operated the Union 76 station in south Payson before resuming his career in law enforcement in 1982.

"He started as a reserve with us in February of 1982, and started part-time as a police aide Nov. 14, 1994," said Payson Police Sgt. Tom Tieman. "He became a full-time employee of the department Jan. 2, 1995."

As a police aide, Podschweit served as the department's property custodian, and also did fingerprinting for the public, transported prisoners from the Valley, and anything else that needed to be done.

"He was one of the neatest guys you would ever meet," Tieman said. "You couldn't ask for a better individual, as a worker or as a friend."

Survivors include his wife Deborah; children Kevin Podschweit, Judith Podschweit, Paula Gibson, Laura Crowley and Sarah Crowley; three grandchildren; sisters Jackie Freer, Joan Bossert, Debbie Fell, and Diane Coronado; and brothers Gerald, George and Randy Podschweit. He was preceded in death by his parents, Bud and Clara, and brother, Richard.

Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Mount Cross Lutheran Church, with graveside services following at Mountain Meadows Memorial Park. Donations can be made to the Arizona Heart Institute Foundation, 2632 N. 20th St., Phoenix, AZ 85006.

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