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Retired state trooper wore uniform proudly

Richard M. Picio loved the state police and was proud to be one of them.

“He honored the uniform and wore it so proudly,” said his wife, Ann Klavonick Picio.

Richard M. “Dick” Picio, 67, of Greensburg, a state police trooper for 34 years, died Saturday, Sept. 27, 2003, surrounded by his family.

He was born Jan. 29, 1939, in Washington, Washington County, the son of the late Frank and Anne Serwatka Picio.

He was last attached to the Findlay barracks, working in the organized crime unit.

In that unit, he solved many crimes. But it was the one never resolved that he most remembered, his wife said.

The case involved the Dec. 4, 1980, killing of Gregory Adams. The Saxonburg police chief was shot twice at close range and then beaten about the head and face with a blunt instrument.

Donald Eugene Webb, 72, a suspect in the killing, has been on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted List since 1981 — the longest ever.

“He and another policeman who was with him, they were the first on the scene,” Ann Picio said of her husband. “They worked the case diligently — night and day. It was a driven thing that one of theirs had been gunned down.”

She and her husband met after her car broke down. Her future husband answered the telephone at a garage where her car was being worked on. They were married for 43 years.

“He was a very loving and wonderful man. He really was,” she said.

His son, Michael Picio, who is stationed at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., remembered a Tiger Cruise he took with his father. On such a trip, an officer brings along a relative to show what life is like.

The father and son journeyed from Camp Lejeune, near Jacksonville, N.C., to Norfolk on the USS Saipan.

The cruise showed his father, who left the U.S. Marines as a sergeant in 1956, a different world, his son said.

“He thought that was the best, and we had a great time,” he added.

They also were assigned to the same Marine unit.

“Dad was particularly proud of that,” his son said.

The two also enjoyed being together in other activities.

“He was my favorite golf partner and vice versa,” Picio said.

Mr. Picio was a member of the Blessed Sacrament Cathedral, South Greensburg American Legion Post 981, Fraternal Order of State Police and Retired State Police Association.

He is survived by his wife, Ann Klavonick Picio; a son, Dr. Michael Picio and wife, Susan; a brother, Jack Picio and wife, Nancy, of Washington; a sister, Carol Taylor-Benedict and husband, Jim, of Washington; his mother-in-law, Virginia Klavonick; several aunts and uncles; and several nieces and nephews.

Prayers will be held at 9 this morning at the Clement L. Pantalone Funeral Home, 409 W. Pittsburgh St. Greensburg, followed by a funeral Mass at 9:30 a.m. in the Blessed Sacrament Cathedral, Greensburg. Entombment will follow in Greensburg Catholic Cemetery Mausoleum.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Pennsylvania State Police Historical, Educational and Memorial Center, 1746 E. Chocolate Ave., Hershey, PA 17033-1181, or to a charity of choice.


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