Chester Reed, 95, the oldest employee of the U.S. Postal Service, retires

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Chester Reed, 95, the oldest employee of the U.S. Postal Service, retires Wednesday after 37 years at the San Bernadino, Calif., Processing and Distribution Center.

Reed worked as a mark machinist, mail handler and forklift operator. Colleagues plan to toast Reed's departure with cake and ice cream and by giving him a leather NASCAR racing jacket with the Postal Service logo, sent by Postmaster General John E. Potter. Reed loves cars.

Reed, who is hard of hearing, spoke Tuesday by telephone with the assistance of plant manager Mary Brunkhorst:

Why did you decide to retire now?

I figured I don't have too many years left and, who knows, I could go tomorrow. My son, he likes to travel, and I'd like to do some traveling and he's a good traveling companion. He's kind of my right-hand man, so I don't know, the Good Book says there's a time for everything. . . .

My plans right now are to finish my tour of Scandinavia, to visit Russia, Ireland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland. We're just going to try to make a round run and see everything that I've never seen before. (He also wants to see the Taj Mahal in India. He has visited the Great Wall of China and Rio de Janeiro, where he hang-glided at 93.)

What did you do before the Postal Service?

For 25 years I was in the Air Force, before there was an air force (it was the Army Air Corps).

So why did you decide to join the Postal Service?

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