Steve Culpovich, ‘you will be missed by many’

Sun, 02/28/2021 - 11:00am
ROCKPORT — One day after an epic parade organized by Rockport Post Office’s Ann Marie Kinser and Amy Phillips to honor their boss, retiring Postmaster Stephen M. Culpovich—a parade that involved the Rockport Fire and Police department and over 100 Rockport residents—our beloved 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, a letter from Governor Mills was read aloud thanking Steve for his years of service, and he was presented with a framed State of Maine Commendation Certificate by our very own Maine State Representative, Vicki Doudera. 

Terri and Peter Ralston presented Culpovich with one of Peter’s beautiful photographs depicting winter fireworks over Rockport Harbor. The margins around the image sardined with hundreds of signatures from town residents and beyond.

At the end of Steve’s final shift he headed to the loading dock to meet the arriving mail truck one last time. He raised the accordion door, and was met instead by a parking lot full of masked-people standing six-feet apart singing a tearful rendition of Auld Lang Syne
Suddenly Steve found himself flanked by his employees and his wife Deborah holding a bouquet of flowers. He grinned, grinned some more, ventured a gaze across the large crowd, then turned his smile to his colleagues before kissing Deborah. The tune ended and there was a hush. Steve's words were clear and heartfelt. By the time he finished there wasn’t a dry eye on the dock or in the lot. It was a cold evening, no one wanted to leave. But they had no choice. As the motto goes "Neither Snow nor rain. . .” and there was still mail for the man to sort.
Two days of tributes hardly felt enough for Postmaster Culpovich, an extraordinary individual at the very omphalos of our daily lives. That rare person who made all of us feel better for the privilege of spending time in their company.
Perhaps the most fitting tribute to Steve came from his former colleague West Rockport Postmaster, Alane Dostie who created a game called Steve Jeopardy. To have any chance at winning you’d have to know Steve. By that definition, we are all winners.