Neighbors Celebrate Retirement of Joking, Joyful, and Kind Postman

When a package of family memorabilia didn’t arrive at Kevin Smith’s house, letter carrier Edward “Eddie” Cosme went to the post office after work, found the package, and delivered it.

When Susan Eldredge’s children were expecting responses to college applications, Eddie asked which schools they were waiting for and rang the doorbell if a letter came. 

One day, Eddie stopped on his route to help Mike McCollum carry a big screen TV into his house. Another time, he challenged John Hill to an informal basketball game. Eddie won.

Eddie knew every house on his route, who lived where, who was expecting, and who might need to be checked on or require extra help.

“We always said he could have been head of a corporation, because he has such a great personality and he’s smart,” Harriette Hill said. “But I’m glad that he delivered our mail every day, because he just brightened our lives so much.”

Eddie retired at the end of March after 38 years of taking 31,000 steps a day and delivering mail to more than 400 homes. The summer heat finally got to him, and he wanted to spend more time with his high school sweetheart and wife of 41 years, Rosemarie.

Residents gathered on Golf Drive to say goodbye. They shared cake, snacks, and memories of the postman who has had the same route in University Park since 2002.

Mort Newman, 93, remembered how he could hear Eddie talking loudly on his cellphone as he came down the street, and how Eddie always shouted out, “Love you, Mort.”

“He’s so loveable, obnoxiously so sometimes,” Newman said.

Kristin Johnson shared how Eddie bundled and hung the mail of one elderly resident from his doorknob so he wouldn’t need to go down the steps to his mailbox.

Kristen Roberts said she still has the mail trucks Eddie gave her preschoolers, Whit and Bethany, who used to sit on the front steps and wait for Eddie to arrive. Whit is now 24, and Bethany is a senior at the University of Texas at Austin.

“He flirted outrageously, indiscriminately with everybody, but in the best, sort of easy, non-intense way,” said Eldredge, one of the party’s co-hosts.

Eddie joined the U.S. Postal Service in 1986 after leaving the Army. After applying to the Postal Service because his brother was a letter carrier, Eddie found that he loved the work. Easier routes became available, but Eddie didn’t want to leave the homes he served.

“You’ve made it harder for me to go,” Eddie told residents. “When I look around, you guys met me 20-some years ago. I was a lot younger, a lot faster, a lot better looking.”

Eddie said he’d be back for block parties, but his customers said not having him deliver mail every day would still leave a hole.

“Eddie knows our business before we know our business,” Gina Culpepper said. “He pays attention. He’s just amazing. We’re going to miss him so much.”

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