After more than 31 years of federal service, Temecula Letter Carrier Ted “Eddie” Nelson made his last faithful completion of his appointed rounds on Thursday, Feb. 28.
Nelson was recognized Saturday, March 16 for his dedicated service by Temecula Post Office Officer-in-Charge Jorge Navarro, City Councilman Ron Roberts and the residents he served during a retirement party held at the Meadowview Community Clubhouse.
Nelson began his career with the Postal Service in 1984 as a letter carrier in Lake Elsinore. He then transferred to Temecula in 1985, where he spent more than 25 years delivering mail on Route 91002, which covers the Meadowview Community neighborhood.
Nelson was an on-the-job instructor for newly-hired letter carriers and conducted community Post Office tours to schools, said Regional Postal Service Spokeswoman Eva Jackson. He was also a "highly involved and committed community volunteer" at Rancho Damacitas in Temecula, a nonprofit that was established to provide services that help meet the needs of special needs foster children through three distinct programs, Jackson said.
To many, he was more than a mailman—he was a family friend.
Resident Nicole Fuller moved to the Meadowview Community a few years ago from Orange County. It did not take her long to develop a friendship with Nelson.
Of note, Fuller said, were the decorated mailboxes on his last day and the children holding signs in his honor.
"Quite frankly, this story brings us all such inspiration: a single human being—a mail carrier—could have such a profound impact on a community and the generations reared during his tenure—to come day after day and deliver the good news, the bad news and no news—with a smile and a loving heart," Fuller said.
Prior to going to work for the Postal Service, Nelson served two years in the U.S. Army from 1967 to 1969 in Vietnam as a military policeman on the Commanding General’s staff. Nelson and his wife, Millie, have two sons, Jerry and Jeff and four grandchildren.