MINNEAPOLIS (AP)-- Longtime Minneapolis public servant Walt Dziedzic has died. He was 85.

His son, Joe, says Dziedzic died Saturday of natural causes at a hospital in Robbinsdale.

Dziedzic chose in 2009 not to run for re-election to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board after nearly 50 years of public service, saying in his retirement letter: "It was a pleasure to serve you. We did it together."

After high school, he played professional baseball and served in the Korean War before becoming a police officer.

Dziedzic was a Minneapolis City Council member for 22 years and served 12 years on the park board. Former City Council member Barbara Johnson says Dziedzic was the "sweetest man ever."

He is survived by his wife, Pat, and their six children.