REDLANDS, Calif. -- A San Bernardino County postal worker is finally enjoying retirement at the ripe old age of 95.
Chester Arthur Reed retired Wednesday as the nation's oldest postal worker.
Reed has been a mail handler and forklift operator since he was hired in 1973, making just $4 an hour.
He hit the $25-an-hour ceiling about 10 years ago.
Despite being partially deaf and walking with a stoop, Reed has
worked for more years than many of his co-workers have been alive
and has accrued 3,856 hours -- nearly two years -- of sick leave for
not missing a shift in 37 years.
Reed worked the 2:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. shift and logged in more
than 12 hours some days.
His 55-year-old manager Mary Brunkhorst said they'd have to force him to go home.
Reed said he just felt like it was time to retire.
About 100 people attended a retirement party Wednesday, where Reed was presented with plaque bearing about 40 stamps
that depict locations he visited or activities he enjoyed.
Reed says a healthy diet of watermelon, alkaline water and an onion sandwich with mayo every day has helped him stay healthy for so long.
"If everyone in the nation ate watermelons, they'd get rid of
all the doctors," he said.
Reed, born in 1914, joined the Air Force at age 33 and served at Wiesbaden in Germany, Okinawa in Japan, and three Texas bases
before ending up in March Field in Riverside where he currently lives.
He retired from active service as a sergeant in 1972. When he
heard the post office was hiring, he went in for an interview
and was hired on the spot.
Reed is one of seven siblings, but has outlived all but the
youngest -- a 65-year-old who lives near San Diego. Reed's other son
died of cancer at age 58 a few years ago, and Reed's wife died soon
Reed says he may not be going to a job anymore, but he's still working on living until he's 100.
Nation's Oldest Postal Worker Retires at 95
Chester Arthur Reed never took a sick day in his 37-year career.
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