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BURNET — For 85-year-old Otto  Gruetzner and his wife, 82-year-old Fay, retirement from the Burnet County Sheriff’s Office has motivated the couple to put themselves back into the job market.

“We’re looking for a job,” said Otto, who served civil papers with his wife at his side for the local law enforcement agency since 1997. “Pay don’t make a difference.”

Burnet County Sheriff W.T. Smith hosted a retirement ceremony Jan. 16 for the couple, who expect to maintain their certified peace officers status.

They received personalized sheriff’s deputy badges in front of an audience of family, staff and area law enforcement.

“These folks have served Burnet County without getting paid a dime. No telling how many thousands of hours they put in,” Smith said. “They have been an unbelievable asset for us. They’ve done so much for this department and this community.”

The Gruetzners have been married for 65 years. But it wasn’t until they were in their 50s that they began pursuing a career in law enforcement.

The couple quickly discovered it was something they enjoyed.

“If you don’t like your job, you really can’t put your heart into it,” Fay Gruetzner said. “We like the people we worked for.”

Before settling into their positions in Burnet County in 1997, they both served as reserve constables in Travis County.

In Burnet County, they began as reserves handling prison transports and eventually moved to serving civil papers in family court cases. They’re best known for riding in the same unit, when all others rode solo.

“We’ve been together almost all our lives and to separate us was almost impossible,” Otto Gruetzner said. “I didn’t want her out by herself late, so we teamed up, and it worked out fine.”

The couple, who lives in Highland Haven, said keeping busy is at the top of their list of retirement goals.

“We want to find something to do. We have to have a reason to get up in the morning,” Otto Gruetzner said. “We can only take so much ‘I Love Lucy,’ ‘Andy Griffith Show,’ ‘Gunsmoke,’ ‘Bonanza’ and ‘M.A.S.H.’”

They leave their jobs satisfied they forged lasting and positive relationships with co-workers and the public.

“We got to know a lot of people. We’d run into people out (in public.) They’d come talk to us,” he said. “The way we treated them, they remembered us. It worked real well for us.”

Staff writer Connie Swinney can be reached at

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Couple retires from BCSOFay and Otto Gruetzner, who are in their 80s, retired from their jobs as volunteer reserve deputies at the Burnet County Sheriff’s Office. Members of law enforcement congratulated and thanked them for 15 years of service during a ceremony Jan. 16 at the sheriff’s office. Staff photo by Connie Swinney

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Couple retires from BCSOBurnet County Sheriff’s Office Reserve Deputies Otto, 85, and Faye Gruetzner, 82, worked with no pay serving civil papers for the past 15 years at the local department. They received personalized retirement badges during a ceremony and party Jan. 16. Staff photo by Connie Swinney

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Couple retires from BCSOBurnet County Sheriff’s Deputy Archie Hollingsworth (left) congratulates Otto and Fay Gruetzner during their retirement party Jan. 16. Staff photo by Connie Swinney

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