One of the most familiar faces among Danville's post offices, distribution clerk Keith Carlson is ready to process the last piece of mail in his 35-year postal career this week.
Carlson, who was part-time when he started with the U.S. Postal Service in Danville in February 1981, is retiring Friday following his final full shift at the post office at 2605 Camino Tassajara, near Sycamore Valley Park and Blackhawk, according to USPS officials.
"Every piece of mail matters," Carlson said in a statement. "Whether it is mailed through the retail window, picked up in the collection boxes or mailed through the bulk mail entry unit, it is important to the mailer."
"Customers expect and deserve excellent service. That's what I want all employees to understand. Treat each day as a learning experience," he added.
During his tenure, Carlson saw the postal service evolve while working in every aspect of the mail processing and distribution system, officials said.
When he first started, all the work was done manually. He said he fondly remembers having to cancel, by hand, letters and large envelopes that customers dropped off before dispatching the mail to the central processing and distribution centers.
Carlson plans to spend quality time with his ailing mother and two adult sons after his retirement. He said he would miss the relationships he built with co-workers and customers who grew to recognize him over the years.