Donald Richard First

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Donald Richard First, 73, of Payson, died May 17, 2005. He was born March 31, 1932 in Greenville, Pa.

Mr. First was a master sergeant in the Air Force from 1951 to 1971. He moved to the Payson area in 1972. He was a sheriff deputy in Gila County from 1978 to 1996; a school bus driver for Pine-Strawberry School for eight and a half years from 1973 to 1981; and an emergency medical technician for Canyon State Ambulance for 10 years from 1982 to 1992. Mr. First was a charter member and commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Tonto Basin, a life member of the Elks Club of Greenville, Pa., and member of the American Legion. He retired to Tonto Basin.

He is survived by his brother, James D. First of Pennsylvania; niece, Katherine Elizabeth First; and nephew, William Raymond First.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Thelma M. First; father, Raymond; and mother, Ina Elizabeth.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Sunday, May 22 at Tonto Basin Cemetery. Family and friends are invited to Butcher Hook following the service.

Arrangements handled by Messinger Payson Funeral Home.

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