An Ambassador of Goodwill for the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation(WHINSEC) and former Mayor of the City of Columbus will always be remember for his ever positive attitude and love for life.
"It is with a heavy heart that we inform the passing of COL(RET) Bob Poydasheff, a steadfast supporter of the Institute at the age of 90.
A WHINSEC Ambassador of Goodwill, affectionately known around the TriCity (Columbus, GA/Ft. Benning, GA/Phenix City, AL) area as Uncle Bob, Poydasheff regularly participated at WHINSEC as a Guest Instructor for both the School of Professional Military Education History and the Center for Democracy and Human Rights.
Mr. Anthony Raimondo, director for the Institute’s Center for Democracy and Human Rights commented, “COL (Ret.) Bob Poydasheff was both a great friend and committed supporter of WHINSEC. He actively and frequently participated in our educational and training events. For example, Human Rights Panels by covering the topic of the My Lai Massacre; Human Rights Classes by discussing due process and its importance to military and police operations; International Operational Law Course by answering questions that students had on the lawful use of force during times of conflict; and, he often taught classes on other human rights topics and issues.”
“He was always willing to share freely his vast knowledge and experiences in the area of law. A great communicator, with a wonderful sense of humor, who kept students always focused, interested, and engaged. He was passionate about the mission of professionalizing service members and law enforcement officials, and dedicated a lot of time and effort to that end,” added Raimondo.
Originally from the Bronx, the 1954 Citadel Infantry Officer graduate served until 1979 when he culminated a 24 year distinguished military career as a Colonel and military lawyer. He made Columbus his home and in 2002, Poydasheff was elected as the Columbus City Mayor after serving for a number of years as a Columbus Councilman.
"His love for the Fort Benning and Columbus communities, to include WHINSEC, will be a legendary, and will live in the heart of all its citizens," said COL(RET) Ruben D. Colón, assistant professor and director of the history & leadership department here at WHINSEC.
Colón added, "since meeting him in 1996, he was always gracious in accepting an invite to teach at one of my classes at the institute. My image of him will always be of a dedicated, decent, and kind human being, who was in service to others, most especially to our Soldiers and their families. Our nation owes him a debt of gratitude for his devotion to family, loyalty to the Army, and love of Nation."
He is survived by his wife Stacy, Poydasheff’s constant companion for over 60 years.