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Rockport residents throw parade for leaving postmaster

By Daniel Dunkle | Feb 25, 2021
Video by: Daniel Dunkle
Photo by: Daniel Dunkle Rockport Postmaster Stephen Culpovich waves at cars and trucks passing by in a parade in his honor Feb. 25. People honked horns in support. Behind him with the sign is his wife Deborah.

Rockport — A fire truck with sirens and lights going led a procession of vehicles honking their horns as drivers waved and passengers held out signs, all to celebrate the work of Rockport Postmaster Stephen Culpovich on Feb. 25.

The postmaster has announced his retirement at the end of the month and the people of Rockport, and even some surrounding towns, were not going to let him go without a show of appreciation.

The group organized at the Camden YMCA and drove down to the Post Office in Rockport village.

Culpovich's wife, Deborah, snuck in the back of the building and helped lure him outside for the surprise event.

"I feel overwhelmed," Culpovich said. "I really do. I'm so appreciative. I love this place and all of these people."

Culpovich has worked 36 years with the postal service including the past eight in Rockport.

The parade was organized by organized by the Post Office’s Ann Marie Kinser and Amy Phillips.

Todd Field, who helped promote the event, wrote: "He was meant to retire last year. However, when the pandemic hit, he made the decision to stay and support our community for what he knew would be a frightening time for all of us. A time when we needed at least one thing not to change. Working long days, and a daily two-hour round trip commute, he met each day and each customer with nothing but a smile and good cheer.

"During these trying months for the country and our community, Steve’s personal touch made a world of difference. He set the bar for all of us. At his advanced age, he truly risked life-and-limb to provide a vital service we all depend on for basics, not to mention allowing us to safely vote and participate as citizens in our country’s democracy.

"Steve is so loved that each day, people drive from as far away as Union, Lincolnville, Appleton and Hope to say hello and check a P.O. Box in a town that isn’t even their own.

Field reported to The Camden Herald the following information on Steve’s last day of work, Friday (edited for space):

The postmaster’s name was read into the Congressional Record by Chellie Pingree, who in her letter to Culpovich stated, “It is because of people like you, Steve, that Maine has a reputation for being “the way life should be... you will be missed by many.”

During Steve’s final lunch hour, he was presented with a framed State of Maine Commendation Certificate by Rep. Vicki Doudera.

Peter Ralston read aloud a letter from Gov. Janet Mills thanking Steve for his years of service, and Ralston also presented Culpovich with one of his beautiful photographs showing fireworks over Rockport Harbor framed in signatures and sentiments from well-wishers.

"His customers and fellow employees want to give him a warm send-off," Field said.

That they certainly did.

Note: Video only shows a small part of the full length of the parade. It was a very large turn out.

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Comments (1)
Posted by: Daniel Purdy | Feb 25, 2021 15:51

I wish that I could have been there. I have known him a bit for over 32 years. I occasionally run into him at Hannaford’s here in Waldoboro when he is on his way home. Always, a good and gracious man.

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