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UPS driver making last delivery after 50 years on the job

<i>KPHO</i><br/>Woolston has driven more than 1
Woolston has driven more than 1

By Jason Barry

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    PHOENIX (KPHO) — Mark Woolston has a different kind of office for a different kind of job. The Phoenix UPS driver has been cruising around, delivering packages longer than anyone whose ever worn the brown uniform in Arizona. “Customers have to know that we care, to get them a product or whatever it is they need on that given day,” said Woolston. “I take that very seriously.”

This week marks 50 years that Woolston has been on the job. His first delivery was in June 1973. He remembers being a little discouraged, but his wife told him this might be a good career. “Well, thank heavens I stuck with it,” said Woolston. “A few weeks later I fell in love with the job, and I’ve been doing it ever since and never looked back.”

Woolston has driven more than 1,000,000 miles and managed to avoid any accidents. He’s also been able to handle the summer heat for the past five decades. “You have to physically have a lot of stamina,” said Woolston. “You’ve got to be strong. It’s almost like an athlete, instead of shooting baskets, you’re delivering packages.” Devin Booker would be impressed.

Despite his love of the job, the 71-year-old UPS driver has decided to call it a career, announcing his retirement this month. And that is not going over well with many of his regular customers who look forward to seeing Woolston’s smiling face and positive attitude every day.

“You get to know him, like family,” said Will Frazier with Best Western. “I talk about Mark in my daily life, Mark brought me this, or that, it’s part of family. He’s going to be missed.”

Woolston admits it will be a little strange not showing up for work after all these years, and he will miss all the people he sees along his route. But he does have big plans for the future. “It’s taken me at least four weeks to wrap my mind around the whole idea of retiring, but I’m really looking forward to spending more time with my wife and my three daughters and four grandchildren.”

Several customers have tried to throw Woolston going away parties, but he didn’t stay long, always rushing off to make another delivery. “We throw a party for him, and he was running out the door,” said Adele Arellano, with McCarthy Building Co., “He’s telling us he has to be on time, and I said, Mark, what are they going to do, fire you?”

The devoted driver appreciates all the love and kindness but says he was just doing his job. “The good Lord was watching over me all these years,” said Woolston. “I kept my guardian angels busy. But they brought me through, thankfully.”

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