U.S. Mail carrier retires after nearly 50 years of service in Flint

FLINT (WJRT) (12/27/2018) - Bill Welch has been delivering mail since the age of 17 and is now retiring nearly 50 years later.

"It was just a job back then. I never thought it would last this long," Welch said.

He is saying goodbye after nearly 50 years with the U.S. Postal Service.

"They don't want me to go. They want to bribe me to stay," Welch said.

He has been delivering the mail on the same route to the same people for 26 years. He calls them just as much family to him as the people he works with every day.

"Just missing everybody here and everybody on the route," Welch said. "It will be hard."

He has been telling people on his routes that he'll see them some time, somewhere.

Welch's retirement won't be hard just for him to adjust.

"It's been an honor and privilege to work with him," said co-worker Lisa Howell. "He is truly one of my closest friends."

She and Welch have worked together since 1988, sharing countless memories.

"Taking our breaks every day together. Doing word search puzzles and unscramble puzzles," Howell said. "I'm going to miss him terribly but I'm also so excited about him being able to go to this next adventure."

Welch said his next adventure in retirement will include lots of NASCAR, fishing and time with his three grandchildren.