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Santa’s helper wears brown

December 23, 2010

Post & Mail photo/Becky Hand — When Shawn Slocum posed for this photo, he thought he was just doing a feature photo for The Post & Mail. Unbeknownst to him, it was for this story. From left, Slocum, Cole Craven recipient of a package from Amazon and Slocum’s son, Joe, who is picking up the “brown” mantle, helping with deliveries for the Christmas season. Joe began at UPS this year working inside, just like his dad did 33 years ago.

Local UPS man retires after 33 years

No white beard is visible and his choice of color for his attire is more brown than red, but Shawn Slocum is unquestionably Santa. And not only at Christmas but every day.
Slocum will be hanging up the brown suit this year, though, retiring after 33 years with United Parcel Service (UPS). His last work day, fittingly, is today — Christmas Eve.
He began with UPS in 1978 as a sorter loader, working his way up sorting packages, washing and spotting vehicles inside the facility according to Steve Miller, delivery supervisor.
Slocum himself received a gift from UPS almost 30 years ago — a co-worker at the time became his wife. Mary Ann started sorting packages and washing vehicles while she was attending school to become a nurse. They will be married 30 years in August.
Slocum delivers to the northwest Whitley County area having driven for UPS for 25 of his 33 years.
“He has driven his vehicle 25 total years without an accident,” Miller said.
Slocum has the right temperament for a UPS delivery man.
“He’s pretty down-to-earth,” Miller said, “and not a flashy guy.” The brown uniform suits him nicely.
Slocum’s wife says the work is hard, but UPS is a good company to work for.
“They’ve been good years,” she said.
Of his work ethic, Miller said, “He does what he needs to do,” adding, “He’s one of the best guys to do a story on.”
His last day may be bittersweet, but Mary Ann and his family have plans for his retirement.
“Our daughter just had her fourth child, our fourth grandchild,” said Mary Ann, “and he will be busy helping our son-in-law.” They are remodeling an 1850s farmhouse as they are “busting the seams” with children at their present home.
If you see Slocum on his route today, wish him well, because Santa is hanging up the brown suit.
A cup of milk and a plate of cookies might be a good idea.
becky@thepostandmail.com

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