CINCINNATI (FOX19) - After more than 50 years of working for the United States Postal Service in Cincinnati, Tom Rottinghaus made his final delivery Monday.
It was an occasion to look back for Newport, Ky. native, who got his start in 1969 after serving in the military.
“This job has allowed me to meet, work with and serve the best bunch of people that you could ever imagine,” Rottinghaus told FOX19 NOW along his route Monday.
Rottinghaus celebrated his 50th anniversary with the USPS in August. He said the support and well wishes he has received since then have been overwhelming.
"I got to live my dream," Rottinghaus added. "I just wanted to work outdoors and meet a lot of people. I am very thankful for that."
Rottinghaus’s co-workers described him as a consummate professional.
"He is what a mail carrier should be," said Daniel McDonald. "He is always positive, always. He is an example for the younger carriers."
McDonald is the floor supervisor at Rottinghaus’s post office on Murray Avenue in Fairfax. In fact, he’s the second generation of his family to work alongside Rottinghaus—his mother worked out of the same post office.
“He has worked through two generations of my family. That is a lot of time,” McDonald added.
Rottinghaus started his postal career in Price Hill. Since then, he’s taken routes in Walnut Hills and Hyde Park and has spent the last 20 years delivering mail in Indian Hill.
For for the first 31 years, he says, he walked his routes. But those days are gone, and the job of delivering mail is much different than it used to be.
"It was a lot easier," Rottinghaus recalled. "That was before the mail volume started picking up. The routes were not as long, and it seemed like you got more time to talk to people on your route."
The long-time mail carrier says he could not have asked for better communities to serve.
“It has been a pleasure to serve and a perfect career,” Rottinghaus offered.
He claims there are too many memories to pick his best, but notes working through the 1977 and 1978 blizzards was an experience to remember.
"I didn’t mind the warm weather, and I certainly like the winter months, but ’77 and ’78 were impressive (winters),” Rottinghaus remembered.
Another remarkable feat during his 50 years of service? He’s never had an unfortunate encounter with a dog.
“I am very fortunate that after 50 years, I have never been bitten by a dog,” Rottinghaus laughed. “I think I am one of the few that can say that.”