Cedar Fairmount businesses appreciate work of area postman
The Cedar Fairmount business district is fortunate to have A.T. “Teddy” Wilson delivering mail in the neighborhood. At age 76, Wilson is the longest-serving active letter carrier in the state of Ohio.
Cedar Fairmount business owners say that Wilsons’s tireless efforts, attention to detail—no one gets the wrong mail—and his cheerfulness brighten their days. He has delivered mail in Cleveland Heights since 1980.
After graduating from high school at the age of 18, his father advised him to get a job working as a postal worker. “Teddy,” he said, “The U.S. Postal Service pays well, there will not be layoffs, you will be doing a service, and there is decent retirement.” Wilson says his respect for his father inspired him to pursue a career that has spanned 58 years.
Wilson started out as a “cub,” working inside sorting mail, then was a clerk, and finally a postal carrier. He has delivered mail in Shaker Heights, Bratenahl and Cleveland Heights. Although Wilson has been offered management positions many times, he refused them all. “I didn’t want to be involved with the politics that come into play as a manager,” he said.
Wilson says the best part of his job is relating to people he serves. He is genuinely concerned for those to whom he delivers mail. He told how he once found two days of mail at a house on Grandview Avenue. He knew that an elderly woman lived alone in the house. He looked in the window and saw her lying on the floor. His quick call for help brought her medical attention. “I look out for my people,” he said. “Once you decide you are a servant, you look for opportunities to help.”
Wilson said that his attitude toward his job and his life mean everything. Bob Murphy, of Branch 40, wrote about Wilson receiving his 50-year gold union card, “He is committed and dedicated and deserves all the recognition and respect he gets.”
Wilson is active in the National Association of Letter Carriers, and is passionate about protecting letter carriers and their contract. In March he went to Washington as a union representative to lobby against ending Saturday delivery and modifications to the carrier’s retirement plan.
Wilson and his wife, Ardeila, have two daughters, Paula and Angela and a grandson who attends Kent State University. “I’m blessed to have daughters,” he said, “Girls always love daddy.”
Cedar Fairmount and Cleveland Heights are fortunate to have Teddy Wilson as our mail carrier and in our lives. At 76, he definitely is an extraordinary letter carrier, with no immediate plans to retire.
Kaye Lowe is the executive director of the Cedar Fairmount Special Improvement District.