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A tribute to community servant and former Paradise Valley Police Chief John Wintersteen

photo of John Wintersteen
After three decades of military service, Chief John Wintersteen joined the Paradise Valley Police Department in June of 1995 where he served this community in the roles of chief, director of public safety, town marshal, and director of emergency management for 14 years. (File Photos/DigitalFreePress)
John Wintersteen legacy lives on through testament to community service
By Town of Paradise Valley | Local News That Matters

It is with great sadness that we acknowledge the tragic death of former Paradise Valley Police Chief John Wintersteen, a beloved figure in our community.

Chief Wintersteen dedicated his life to service, which included 30 years in the U.S. Marine Corps. As part of his extraordinary military career, he spent 20 months in Vietnam having extended his original 13-month tour; by the time he was 22 years old, he was already a commanding officer.

Following his tour, Chief Wintersteen was stationed in various locations around the United States — spending 20 years in the USMC Military Police. His last posting was as head of security for law enforcement and anti-terrorism at the Marine Corps headquarters, where he retired in 1995 as a lieutenant colonel.

After three decades of military service, Chief Wintersteen joined the Paradise Valley Police Department in June of 1995 where he served this community in the roles of Chief, Director of Public Safety, Town Marshal, and Director of Emergency Management for 14 years.

His contributions to this community didn’t end with his retirement from the force.

Through his time volunteering with the board of the Empire of Hope and as an active Rotarian – serving on the board of the Rotary eClub of the Southwest USA — Chief Wintersteen led charitable efforts in several African countries, fighting issues of poverty, unemployment, and lack of access to education and medical care.

(Photo: Arianna Grainey/DigitalFreePress)
John Wintersteen legacy lives on through testament to community service

He also volunteered long hours closer to home, working with organizations in the Valley like the Creighton Community Foundation – ensuring students and their families in that school district had food and other resources to help in the fight against chronic poverty.

Most recently, Chief Wintersteen co-chaired and organized this year’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration in Paradise Valley – an event he helped start in the Town 26 years ago.

“Our hearts are broken. John Wintersteen lived a life of true service and care for others,” Paradise Valley Mayor Jerry Bien-Willner said. “His positive contributions to our nation and our community are immeasurable. He will be deeply missed.”

Chief Wintersteen lived a life of dedicated service, and Paradise Valley is stronger for having had him as one of our own. Our deepest condolences go out to his family, his many friends and all who knew him.

Editor’s Note: This was first published Jan. 8 by the Town of Paradise Valley.

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