By Liz Nolan, Contributing Writer
Northborough – The familiar face of Northborough United States Postal Service mail carrier Bob Wendorf will be greatly missed along his route. He has been delivering mail to families in the Northgate Road neighborhoods for 17 years. On Jan. 20, it was the neighborhood that delivered something special to him to celebrate his retirement.
Mary Leach coordinated a neighborhood farewell effort for the “Best Mailman in the Best Neighborhood Ever.” Neighbors decorated their mailboxes and yards with balloons and signs, and left personal notes for him.
Delivering friendship along with the mail
Affectionately called Bob the Mailman, Wendorf is known for his warm smile and friendly wave. Many neighbors shared the sentiment that he has watched their kids grow up, always took time to talk and even carried dog treats.
Leach’s children are now adults, but were 5 and 7 years old when Wendorf began his route.
“Our adult kids who were home this week asked ‘does this mean a stranger is going to bring us our mail’?” said Leach.
There are many great stories and memories of how Wendorf impacted lives along his route over the years. There is no doubt he will be missed.
“He would often hand deliver the mail to the kids to make them feel special about being the one to bring the mail to their parents,” said Tricia Silva.
“One year, my mom sent my daughter a package in the mail with new shoes,” said Kelly Benestad. “She went around telling everyone ‘Bob the mailman bought me these’. She just assumed he bought her everything that he delivered.”
“Bob is a Northgate neighborhood staple,” said Maria Mihalek. “It will not be the same here without him.”
‘A wonderful man and a wonderful worker’
Wendorf feels the same about the neighborhood.
“These people; this neighborhood – from the day I took over the route, they embraced me like family,” he said. “It’s amazing; such a great neighborhood and I am going to miss everyone.”
A favorite memory of many involved stalking him along the route in late August to see if the much anticipated school classroom assignments for the new year were being delivered.
Wendorf said he would often joke about telling the group of kids that were anxiously waiting for the letters that he was going to take his break first.
Wendorf was a consistent worker
“You would literally almost set your clock to when he would bring your mail,” said Susan O’Grady. “Blizzards would not even get him off his schedule. Such a great combination – a wonderful man and a wonderful worker.”
He went above and beyond
“Our daughter and Bob have been pen pals throughout the years,” said Beth Hennessey. “Julie (9) occasionally leaves him notes with her art work and anxiously awaits his reply. His prompt and thoughtful responses always brightens her day.”
Kristen Loizeaux and her family moved to another neighborhood, which was not on Wendorf’s route.
“I may or may not have called the Northborough Post Office to see if they could add it to his route,” she said.
Wendorf said his route looked like a parade route with all the decorations.
“It was one of the best days of my life without a doubt,” he said. “I didn’t set out to do anything special. I went about my job and tried to have fun.”
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