Former Columbus Mayor Bob Poydasheff dies at 90, officials react

Former Columbus Mayor Bob Poydasheff dies at 90, officials react
Former Columbus Mayor Bob Poydasheff dies at 90 (Source: Columbus Consolidated Government)

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Former Columbus Mayor Bob Poydasheff passed away Thursday morning. He was 90 years old.

Poydasheff served as mayor for one term from January 2003 to January 2007.

“Columbus has lost their number one cheerleader,” former Mayor Teresa Tomlinson said.

Whether he was in the Columbus Government Center or his second avenue office, former mayor Bob Poydasheff can be described as ‘boisterous.’

“Anybody who knows Bob knows he’s a very loud guy, very high energy," attorney Anthony Johnson said, who’s office is right down the hall from Poydasheff’s.

With his death at the age of 90, city movers and shakers as well as the legal community and Fort Benning are looking back on Poydasheff’s greatest accomplishments as well as the legacy he leaves behind.

“His fingerprints are all over Columbus. He’s a good man, wonderful family, very sad, very sad announcement today," former mayor Judge Bobby Peters said.

“You can look around and certainly point to buildings or projects or civic improvements under his tenure as mayor," Chief Judge Gil McBride said.

“Not only has he contributed a lot, but he’s gotten others to as well," Johnson said.

One piece of the former mayor’s legacy that will live on.. is his desire for unity.

“You didn’t hear much talk about north Columbus, south Columbus, east Columbus, west Columbus when Bob Poydasheff was mayor. He was not a divider, he was a uniter," McBride said.

“He was one of the very first ones to see we could live in these well integrated communities and it would make them stronger, make the communities stronger," Tomlinson said.

All flags flying over Columbus Consolidated Government buildings will be lowered to half-staff through Monday, September 28.

Along with the city of Columbus, officials are saddened by the news of former Mayor Poydasheff’s passing.

“Mayor Poydasheff loved his family, people, his country, and Columbus, Georgia,” said Representative Sanford Bishop. " He played many roles in his life to include husband, father, grandfather, soldier, veteran, practicing attorney and public servant. In each of these roles, he gave it his all. He was committed to diversity and spoke up against injustice whenever he saw it. He never stopped serving and advocating for what was right even when he faced criticism."

Poydasheff was a longtime member of the Black History Observance Breakfast Committee in Columbus and his most recent form of advocacy was on behalf of disadvantaged veterans with regard to the location of the new VA Clinic in Columbus, according to Rep. Sanford Bishop.

“My wife, Vivian and I extend our deepest condolences to his wife of 60 Years, Stacey, and his entire family," said Rep. Bishop. “May she and the rest of the family be comforted by God’s grace and mercy in the coming days, weeks, months, and years.”

Mayor Poydasheff also had a background in the military. In May 1955, he commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army and was an Army JAG in the My Lai Massacre trial.

“He has truly been a soldier for life,” said Maj. Gen. Patrick J. Donahoe Commanding General Maneuver Center of Excellence and Fort Benning. "Bob was a great mentor to generations of Army lawyers here on Fort Benning and a great supporter and friend to soldiers here at Fort Benning. He was also a personal friend and we are heartbroken for his wife Stacey and his family. He will be missed and we extend our most sincere, heartfelt condolences to all that knew him.”

He served 24 years in the Army, retiring as a colonel in 1979.

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