‘I fell in love with the job’: UPS driver making last delivery after 50 years on the road
PHOENIX (KPHO/Gray News) - A UPS driver in Arizona is calling it a career after spending 50 years making deliveries.
KPHO reports that Mark Woolston has been delivering packages longer than anyone who’s ever worn the brown uniform in Arizona.
“Customers have to know that we care, to get them a product or whatever it is they need on that given day,” he said. “I take that very seriously.”
Woolston’s first delivery was in June 1973. He said he remembers being a little discouraged, but his wife told him this might be a good career.
“Well, thank heavens I stuck with it,” Woolston said. “A few weeks later, I fell in love with the job, and I’ve been doing it ever since and never looked back.”
Woolston has driven more than 1 million miles and managed to avoid any accidents. He’s also been able to handle the summer heat for the past five decades.
“You have to physically have a lot of stamina,” he said. “You’ve got to be strong. It’s almost like an athlete, instead of shooting baskets, you’re delivering packages.”
Despite his love of the job, the 71-year-old driver has decided to call it a career, announcing his retirement this month. But it’s not going over well with many of his regular customers.
“You get to know him like family,” said longtime customer Will Frazier. “I talk about Mark in my daily life, Mark brought me this and that. He’s going to be missed.”
Woolston admits it will be a little strange not showing up for work after all these years, and he will miss the people he sees along his route. But he does have plans after retirement.
“It’s taken me at least four weeks to wrap my mind around the whole idea of retiring, but I’m really looking forward to spending more time with my wife, my three daughters and four grandchildren,” Woolston said.
Several customers have tried to throw Woolston going away parties, but he didn’t stay long, always rushing off to make another delivery.
“We throw a party for him, and he was running out the door,” said customer Adele Arellano.
The devoted driver appreciates all the love and kindness but says he has just been doing his job.
“The good Lord was watching over me all these years,” Woolston said. “I kept my guardian angels busy. But they brought me through, thankfully.”
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