Ed Hunkins makes one last postal delivery in Tarkio on Tuesday, April 30, 2019, to end his 33 years of service to the United States Postal Service.

Tarkio Postmaster Barney Farley, right, presents Ed Hunkins with a certificate of appreciation for his years of service with the United States Postal Service. Ed retired on April 30, 2019.

United States Postal Service customers in and around the Tarkio and Blanchard, Missouri, areas said goodbye to their favorite postman on Tuesday, April 30, 2019, when Ed Hunkins made his final deliveries after 33 years of service. Ed began his duties as a part-time postman on June 1, 1986, taking over for Bob Campbell. He later took over Bill Simpson’s route and began working full-time on November 1, 1990.

Ed says it’s always been a pleasure to go to work. Though most days are the same, working 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with the same stops, there have been a few interesting ones. One day he opened a mailbox and found a dead rabbit inside. Another day he found a pair of sunglasses in the middle of the road, so he got out of his vehicle and picked them up and put them on a nearby post. A few days later he drove by that same post and someone had left a message on a piece of cardboard thanking whoever had saved their sunglasses from being run over. Ed said his customers have always been like family to him and there were a few he even did some honey-do jobs for. For some on his route, he was the only postman they’d ever had.

That will now change as Ed closed his last mailbox in Tarkio on April 30. A retirement reception was held in his honor at KJ’s in Westboro, Missouri, on Wednesday, May 1, and many people attended to congratulate him and give their thanks for always delivering their mail on time and providing a friendly face and wave, rain or shine. Though he doesn’t have any major plans for his now constant days off, he said he will of course enjoy spending more time with his wife, Janice, helping her out at her store, Ladies Apparel in Shenandoah, Iowa, visiting his son, Garrett, in Kansas City, and playing some more rounds of golf.