If Mary Jane Guinan had a vanity license plate, it would have to read: USPS 10524-10516.
For six days a week since the summer of 1978, she ensured the mail was delivered on her routes in Philipstown, despite severe weather, snowy and icy roads and territorial dogs.
Guinan, who lives in Philipstown, retired on Christmas Eve.
The final deliveries did not go unnoticed. Along her 44-mile, 500-customer rural route, mail boxes were festooned with balloons and signs that read “Thank you, Mary Jane!” “We’ll miss you!” and “Congratulations!” Customers waited by the road to offer her a hug or a handshake.
“It was so nice,” she said. “They made my last day really good.”
Over 41 years, it was a rare instance when Guinan was not driving her route because of snow or rain or heat or gloom of night — she stayed home two days over the years when the Postal Service told carriers it was too dangerous to be on the roads, and “I may have missed one or two days on top of that.”