John Pavelko

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John Pavelko... the mailman, a friend to all

Anne Girard Brief bio- Graduated Coaldale, H.S., joined Navy, served WWII as mail clerk aboard USS Chenago. He woke up one morning when Chenago was in a convoy, the ships in front and behind him had been sunk by the Japanese navy, but his ship was OK. Came home after service, took care of my grandparents, never married, was a father to me after my dad died, (my mom Mary, was his sister), I spent every summer here in Coaldale with him. He worked 37 years for the Coaldale Post Office, two deliveries a day, rain or shine, retired after PO, took several freighter cruises around the world during his retirement, saw many ports of call (I have a neat photo of him in Egypt with the Pyramids), came back to Coaldale, was a regular visitor to those on the Fifth Floor of Coaldale Hosp., lived his life quietly, attended St. Cyril's Church, and passed away at age 78.

Oh yes, he had beautiful penmanship, used to practice at his desk, I remember trying to write like he did, with a flourish!

Anne Girard My uncle, John Pavelko, the "Whistling Mailman" worked out of here for 37 years until he retired. Two runs every day, morning and afternoon delivery, carrying a big, heavy leather mailbag! No truck, walking in all kinds of weather. And he loved his job, and all the people!


Anne Girard Uncle John (Pavelko) took me to Bright's one day to buy tires for his car (he said) and I wound up with a new bike!

Jackie Adamitis Anne, He was a sweetheart... But I don't remember Bright's selling tires for a car......

Richard W. Middleton I agree Jackie, don't remember ever selling tires. Just a good excuse to get Anne a bike. Works for me!

Anne Girard That was his ploy for getting me to go to the store with him. I was about ten at the time, and he wanted to surprise me; you are correct, bright's didn't sell tires. LOL


Richard W. Middleton I remember John, when he came by to drop off the mail he always had a friendly greeting. I would watch him walking up 6th street from Ruddle to Phillips. That was the day when you ordered items with cereal box tops. Always hoped John would bring something. Great guy.

Althea Shellock I remember getting mail delivered and the mailman would whistle a tune from whaterver state it was coming from. like( California here I come) so we knew before he even handed us the letter who sent it. Nice memories.

Nick Berezniak I was a temporary mail carrier for the Christmas season of 1953. He guided me and other temporary workers in the work that we were responsible. I found John, as others did, to be kind, patience and very encouaging. His support made our work run smoothly, the postmaster was pleased and welcomed John's guidande of the temporary carriers.

Anne Girard I tell here a story of neighbors helping neighbors. When my Uncle John (Pavelko) would celebrate Christmas, he always had a huge tree, decorated to the hilt,with lots of tinsel. He was a member of St. Cyril's, and celebrated Christmas on the 25th. Our neighbor down the street "Pop Pop" Skymba, was Russian Orthodox, and celebrated Christmas after Uncle John. So the day after Christmas, Uncle John would take the ornaments off his tree, leave the tinsel on, and take it down the block for "Pop Pop" to use. Likewise, John got and evening paper back then, and another neighbor, Mickey Ketz, got a morning one. So Mickey would give John his after he read it in the AM, and John would do the same in the evening. Just some small ways people saved money back in the day.