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Cape Coral USPS employee impacts lives beyond the mailbox

“He went beyond being a mailman."
Posted at 12:27 AM, Nov 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-02 01:06:44-05

CAPE CORAL, Fla.  — "PACKAGE OUT FOR DELIVERY" is probably one of the best notifications we love to get on our mobile devices!

It's even better when you happen to be home when the delivery truck pull up, and stops to drop off your package.

But, last Wednesday's stop was very different for USPS mail carrier Thom Cannon.

He's no stranger to the postal service.

Thom's been employed with the mail service for just over 37 years.

His work led to love, too.

USPS is where Thom met Angie, another postal worker of 40 years, who is now his wife of 35 years.

The former Army paratrooper's route is his own neighborhood in Cape Coral.

“It’s pretty special being the mailman in your own community," he tells FOX 4.

“You get to watch children being born...going off to school. You get to watch families grow up.”

That close watch and attention to those he has served allowed Thom to see when neighbors needed help, too.

“He went beyond being a mailman."

Those are the words of JoAnne DeLuca.

She lives along Thom's route.

While out, Thom noticed letters and packages piling up in her mailbox.

That's when he decided to check on her.

“I said to him. I’m sorry. I can’t get my mail," DeLuca says.

Thom remembers seeing JoAnne though a window in her home, while she was sitting in a recliner explaining why she couldn't get her mail.

She had lost her husband, and was dealing with health challenges.

“I told her not to worry about it. I'd bring her mail to the door. So, that’s kind of how we got started.”

By "we", Thom's referring to their friendship.

Eight years later, JoAnne's now "Aunt JoJo" to the Cannons, their two sons, their daughter-in-law and granddaughter.

“He gave me a whole new family that I love to death," DeLuca tells FOX 4.

"JoJo" says Thom's acts of kindness helped other neighbors, too.

She says he has fixed mailboxes and helped board up homes ahead of hurricanes.

This week, Thom completed his final route.

While making his rounds, he made a special stop to once again go beyond the mailbox to JoAnne's doorstep.

That's where he was greeted with a surprise filled with balloons, his immediate family members, and their "Aunt JoJo" - who didn't hold back on how much she admires Cannon.

“If only the world had half the man that you are”.

As Thom and Angie head out towards a new route of a life, they tell us more carriers than we realize are "Living the Legacy" everyday.

“There are conscientious, caring people on every single route," Cannon says.

Combined, Thom and Angie have nearly 80 years of employment with USPS.

They say they're looking forward to spending their retirement together.

The Cannons plan to enjoy time with their family, travel when they feel comfortable doing that again, and of course...spend time with their Aunt JoJO.