Nyle Churchwell has worked out of the Sage Post Office since 1957.
"Somebody is waiting for that piece of mail,' Church well said on his last route Monday. "It may not be important to you, but it's very important to them."
Churchwell showed up on his last day of work just like he did on his first -- his letters painstakingly organized, his uniform freshly starched and his smile beaming.
"It doesn't feel like it's been that long because it's been so enjoyable," Churchwell said. "It just happened. It's just here all of a sudden."
Churchwell served in the U.S. Air Force and graduated from college before joining the U.S. Postal Service 55 years ago. At the time, stamps were 3 cents and post offices were segregated.
He didn't even have his own vehicle. He had to use the city bus, but his kindness stood out even then.
"There was a $100 bill on the ground, so I picked it up and rang the doorbell and asked if they had lost it," he recalled. "Sure enough, they had, and that made my day. I was happy the whole day."
In his 55-year tenure, Churchwell has only had two routes. Rice University is one of them.
He's going to miss customers, like Dr. Tammy Van Wart, who he's been delivering mail to since she was six years old.
"Look at that smile," she said. "Says it all. He's been coming here for quite a while."
And as he punches out for the last time...
"That feels great," he said.
This newly retired great-grandfather makes a new first. He says "no" to another shift!
"Too late," he said. "I'm off the clock."
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