Anthony Spadaccini was born Sept. 9, 1935 on Locust Avenue in New Canaan.
He grew up in town, graduated from New Canaan High School in 1954 and soon started working at the local Post Office.
The lifelong New Canaanite had a walking route in town as a letter carrier for 26 years, then a driving route here for the next 40.
At the end of this month, he’ll retire after six-and-a-half decades with the U.S. Postal Service. Asked for his thoughts on the milestone, here’s what Spadaccini said: “I’ve been there 65 years, I figure that it’s time for me to go. You know, it’s just time for me to go. That’s all.”
Known to his friends as “Tony,” Spadaccini is a humble and universally well-liked and -respected colleague, coworkers say, a man who prefers to stay out of the spotlight (asked whether he had a photo of himself to accompany this article, Spadaccini said “no,” asked whether he has a group photo that includes him, he said “no,” asked whether it would be OK for this reporter to take a photo of him, he said, “not really”) and ranks among the longest-serving and most diligent letter carriers in the nation.
Michael Ely, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 60, of which New Canaan is a part, calls Spadaccini “the blue collar guy that everybody talks about.”
“He came to work every single day,” Ely said. “He was a lunch pail guy. He would carry his lunch box with him every day to work. And he has—we’re able to carry over our sick time—he has over 6,000 hours of sick leave available to him, which is three years, if he chose to take it. Three years worth of sick leave. Which is, once again, the most in the country or just short of that. He’s also a really nice guy. Never has a bad word. Never heard him raise his voice. His customers love him. They’ve never complained about Tony. He has serviced his people on his route now probably 20 years, at least, if not more, on the same route.”
(Asked for his thoughts on those he’s been delivering letters to these six-plus decades, Spadaccini said, “Some of them are pretty nice and some of them it’s a casual thing, that’s all. They don’t say nothin.” He added, “I enjoyed it. That’s why I stayed. I enjoyed delivering the mail to the people that I usually see. I don’t see quite a few of them all day because I guess some of them work, too, you know? But the ones I do see, they never ask me about retirement or anything like that.”)
Union Secretary Joe Fusco, himself a retired letter carrier, said he’s worked with Spadaccini for 10-plus years. Spadaccini will be honored on the morning of March 30 with a ceremony at the offices of a USPS area hub on Camp Avenue in Stamford, Fusco said.
“He’s a grandfather-type person, always willing to give a little advice and he’s just a happy-go-lucky person,” Fusco said. “Never see him get aggravated or yell or scream at anybody and believe it or not, up until recently, he never called out a day sick for over 60 years. He had a little slight bout with prostate cancer but they took care of that and I think he was only out of work last year for the first time in 60 some-odd years.”
Fusco said he knew from past conversations with Spadaccini that the latter’s only break from his USPS career was six months of active duty with the National Guard during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.
“That was the only stretch he was out of the Post Office,” Fusco said.
Spadaccini’s dependability as a letter carrier has made him stand out, according to letter carrier Dominic Frattaroli, a Stamford resident and vice president of the union who’s known him for 15 years.
“You never have to worry about Tony showing up for work because he’s always there,” Frattaroli said. “Never complains about the job. At 86 years old it’s amazing he still goes out there and does whatever he needs to do.”
Ely called Spadaccini “a lunch box guy.”
“He just punches in, does his job, punches out,” Ely said. “Drives the same pickup truck he’s had for 20 years. He’s just that guy.”
Spadaccini said he simply liked his job and kept putting off retirement for that reason.
“When I was eligible for retirement, I’d say, ‘I’ll stay another year,’ ‘I’ll stay another year,’ ‘I’ll stay another year,’ and all these years went by so that was it,” he said.
Asked about his plans for the future Spadaccini said, “First I’m going to take a little time off. Maybe I’ll take a little trip. I always find something to do. I’ll be active somewhere.”
[Note: This article has been updated with the correct spelling of Anthony Spadaccini’s last name.]
Tony has been our mailman for the forty odd years we have lived in New Canaan. A very special guy. We will miss him. When he was younger and had a vegetable garden he would give me tomatoes and zuchinni out of his garden. He would also look after his mother till she passed. As he got older he still brought the mail to our house even though it was difficult to climb the steps. A man of grace, kindness and dedication. All of Heather Drive and New Canaan will miss him. We hope to see him around town in the future.
So true…and then he delivered to the next generation!
Tony is simply the best! We will surely miss him. Our carpenter, John, told us 20 years ago, how lucky we were to have Tony as our mail carrier, and he was right! What a gem of a man he is. Thank you for your many years of service, Tony.
Wow! I am 58 now, but when I was growing up on Silvermine Road, I remember Tony our postman very well….he really made a positive impression on me as a youngster in the 1970’s and I wish him all the best in retirement!
Joe, you were a wonderful considerate mailman. I loved our occasional chats. . You have an amazing knowledge of New Canaan . I wish you a wonderful retirement. It is well deserved.