Leif Mikkelson has retired after 38 years as a rural carrier for the U.S. Postal Service.
He officially retired May 30 after working at the Manawa post office for the past 14 years.
Mikkelson received a Million Mile Club certificate for 1 million miles of safe driving. This certificate is only presented to USPS employees after 30 years of service.
He began his USPS service as a part-time carrier with the Oregon, Wisconsin, post office. He applied for the job to supplement his dairy farm income.
Mikkelson became a full-time employee in less than three years.
He transferred to Manawa after working in Oregon for 14 years.
“I wanted a rural route, not 400 boxes in a bunch,” he said. “I am a country boy.”
On his rural route in Manawa, he served about 474 mailboxes.
“I have had the distinct pleasure of working with Leif Mikkelson the last few years of his postal career,” said Manawa Postmaster Jacquelyn Badalik. “It has been a pleasure having him as an employee. He was a very dedicated, conscientious, loyal employee who never called in sick during his entire 38 years with the post office. He was always on time.”
“We received many compliments from the residents on Leif’s route stating what an excellent carrier he always was,” Badalik said. “The rest of us at the Manawa post office wish him a wonderful, well deserved retirement.”
In his 38-year career, Mikkelson traveled about 68 miles a day and used 63,333 gallons of gas.
He worked under eight different postmasters, but describes Badalik as “one of the best.”
Mikkelson and his wife Gloria live in rural Manawa. They have been married for 40 years and have 11 children, 24 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.