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February 3, 2010 > Ralph Bell retires from U.S. Postal Service

Ralph Bell retires from U.S. Postal Service

By Miriam G. Mazliach
Photos By Miriam G. Mazliach

Mission San Jose office postmaster, Ralph Bell, who recently retired after almost 23 years there and 39 years overall as a postal employee, was honored at a community party held on the evening of January 22. Due to the uncertainty of post office closures, Bell felt that he had no choice but to retire. "Long-time employees were offered a financial incentive to retire which I decided to accept after a lot of consideration," says Bell.

Bell attributes thousands of letters and phone calls by Mission area residents to the Postmaster General and other legislators, as the reason the Mission San Jose Post Office is currently off the closure list. He encourages Niles residents to continue their fight to keep historic Niles Post Office open for business.

At the good-bye party held in his honor, Bell was presented with a plaque by the Mission San Jose Chamber of Commerce. Many friends and long-time customers stopped by to share a glass of wine or enjoy appetizers while reminiscing with Bell, his wife Carol and their family.

Bell says, "It's just a great feeling; to see so many people coming together here like this tonight is very much appreciated. The Mission San Jose area is such a wonderful community. It's hard to put into words. I'm so honored by everyone who came. Mission San Jose really has a small town atmosphere and friendliness."

Addressing the group, Bell expressed his gratitude toward the Chamber who had helped the MSJ Post Office retain its postmark in 1960. Bell further explained, "Our post office is historic and opened on April 9, 1850. It's even older than the state of California and this year will turn 160.

Bell took time to fondly remember and thank some of his former colleagues. "I worked with a lot of great people over the years like Ben, Sandy and Marge."

Long-time hardware store owner, Bob McIvor, was specifically singled out for mention. "Bob McIvor is always someone I've admired. He's number one on Ellsworth Street and he is what makes the Mission San Jose area so great."

Bell says he will miss all the wonderful friends he has made over the years but plans to keep in touch and also spend time hiking and enjoying his family and grandchildren.

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