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Queen Anne mailman retires after 39 years of service

Calvin Clarke has walked the same route in the neighborhood for 38 years. #k5evening

SEATTLE — For the last 39 years, Calvin Clarke has been a USPS mailman. For 38 of those years, he has walked the same Queen Anne route. 

He will be retiring soon on Dec. 24.

Before his time in USPS, he worked several other jobs.

"I've worked all my life since I was 8 or 9 years old," Clarke said. "I've been in the military. I've worked odd jobs just to make a living. I've took pride in every job I've had and I've tried to do it to the best I can."

He says his customers are why he has stayed on this route for so long.

"I've met so many people up here on Queen Anne. I've treated everyone like they were family. I'm a people person."

Clarke greets people with a smile.

"I'm always friendly. I don't come to work mad. I don't talk to my customers with an attitude or anything like that. Just a genuine person."

He also credits his mother for his work ethic and customer service.

"My mom always taught us that you treat anyone like you want to be treated. Everyone is different and you have to expect that."

"When I think of Calvin in this increasingly isolated time, I think about the community that he's been able to put together because he's this common bond that we all have and we're really gonna miss that," a Queen Anne resident said.

Neighbors appreciate him so much, they voted and picked "Calvin" as the name of a giant crane on Queen Anne. It is located on the Safeway construction site. 

What's next after 39 years of service? Clarke says that's up in the air.

"Retiring is kind of, I think it's kind of scary for me a little bit. No big plans. Maybe a little traveling with my wife."

Calvin is set to have hip surgery after his last day of delivering mail on Dec. 24. Residents of Queen Anne have set up a GoFundMe to help raise money for his retirement fund.

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