Bexley News

Retiring letter carrier

Constantinidis 'a hard act to follow'

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For the first time in 30 years, Ted Constantinidis won't be delivering mail in central Bexley.

The 59-year-old retired Wednesday after working the last three decades as a letter carrier covering South Parkview Avenue, South Columbia Avenue, part of Drexel Avenue, Preston Road and Park Drive.

He worked with the Bexley branch of the U.S. Postal Service for 41 years.

"I like the outdoors," he said. "I really enjoyed working at the post office."

He also was proud to work for the government.

After immigrating to America from Thessaloniki, Greece, in 1957, Constantinidis said he wanted to become an American citizen so badly that he joined the U.S. Marine Corps.

"I was a foreigner," he said. "I wanted to be an American, so I joined the best service there was."

When he returned from tours of duty in Vietnam, Hawaii and Guantanamo Bay, he figured he had two options -- work as a firefighter or a letter carrier.

So he applied for a job at the 43209 branch of the U.S. Postal Service.

While working in Bexley, he has become friends with city officials and residents. He plays golf with police officers and service department workers. Many residents call him "Ted the mailman."

"We met at Frank's Diner over on Broad Street," said former Mayor David Madison said. "I don't really know how long it goes back, truthfully."

"We always talked and said hello," Madison said. "He is very dedicated to his job and always has a smile on his face. What a terrific guy."

Cheri Friedman, a lifelong Bexley resident, said she talked to Constantinidis almost every day when he delivered mail to her home on South Parkview Avenue.

"He is just a simple, great, personal guy," Friedman said. "He is just so pleasant and trustworthy."

She said that Constantinidis was her husband Tod's letter carrier when he was growing up on Merkle Road.

Friedman said that she always knew when Constantinidis was coming down the street, because her two dogs went "ballistic." He often gave dog treats to the neighborhood dogs.

"He is going to be a hard act to follow," Friedman said. "Everyone is bummed that he is leaving."

Constantinidis said he has been thinking about retiring for a few years and felt this was the right time.

He said he considers his current central Bexley route as the "retirement route," because he is able to drive up the long driveways to deliver the mail.

In his retirement, Constantinidis, who lives in Pickerington, hopes to play golf and travel to Greece to visit family members.

He also hopes to do a little handy-work on the side. Constantinidis is trained in painting, landscaping, plumbing and carpentry.

"I have four sisters -- I've practiced at their houses," he said.

Constantinidis said he is going to miss the residents on his route, but is looking forward to some free time.

"There are good people here," he said.

gmartineau@thisweeknews.com