When I asked Shanle if he had ever had another job, he answered:
"I have had two jobs in my lifetime, and both of them I started on my
On Nov. 10, 1970, he started his first job out of high
school, working as a printer for the state of Illinois at Lincoln
Nov. 10, 1974, he began his career with the postal service.
Thirty-nine years later, Shanle is well-known for being everybody's
"favorite mailman" (just ask him).
As a friend and co-worker of his
for the past 13 years, it's been a pleasure to know and work with
this man. When I asked him his favorite part of the job and what he
would miss about the job, I got the same answer: the people.
it wasn't for the people, we wouldn't have a job," he said. "And I will miss the
people I work with and the people I have served for 39 years."
And serving the people of Lincoln is something he has done quite
well. Early in his career he carried City 5, which included the
Mayfair subdivision. After a while he took his talents uptown,
moving to City 8. For years he delivered the courthouse and
surrounding downtown businesses, much to the delight of Lincoln
Over the last several years, you may have seen him
pounding the pavement down Broadway every morning as he made his way
to Nugent Place, via a little detour through Pekin Street, of course.
By the afternoon he was strolling the Tulip-Sycamore neighborhoods,
all the while trying to find his way to Pulaski Street. In recent
months his route even picked up part of Decatur and Clinton streets.
As you can see, the man covered a lot of ground. His retirement is
When I asked him of his retirement plans, he was quick to answer: "I'm going to see how many fishing poles I can break and how many
shotgun shells I can shoot." He also plans on babysitting Lucy a
lot. Lucy, a German shorthair bird dog, is his hunting buddy.
[to top of second column]
Spending time with family will also be in his plans. Shanle
is married to Deb, whom he affectionately calls Myrtle. He has four
sons, George, Josh, Jake and Steve Jr., and one daughter, Sara. He
is also a proud grandfather to Trevor, Taylor and Owen.
On a final note, at 3 p.m. Thursday, as he punches the time clock
for the final time, the man, the myth, the legend who is Steve Shanle will be forever missed by his fellow co-workers and his
customers on the mail route. No one can replace this man. He has
been a workhorse and on top of his game for 39 years. He is indeed
one of the best letter carriers the USPS has ever employed. On
behalf of everyone at the Lincoln post office, I wish him the best
in his retirement.
Author's note: I have admired this man for all the years I
have worked with him. His work ethic is amazing, and the way he
treats others and conducts himself in the workplace is clearly a
positive example to those around him. OK, maybe not always, but
most of the time! You would have to work at our post office to fully
understand what that means. Meanwhile, I do assure the readers that
no one can take Shanle's place on City 8, but yours truly might just
be the one to try. I know I have big shoes to fill, but I am up for