Friends and family remember downtown Springfield mailman who served for decades

Memorial services were held Tuesday for a retired postal worker, well-known for his decades as a carrier in downtown Springfield and 50 years as a local union president.

His long career as a postal worker ended after he was struck by a car in 2014 during his daily route. A gathering will be held for Cephas “Smokey” Stover at Littleton and Rue Funeral Home, 830 North Limestone St., from 4 to 7 p.m.

Stover, 81, passed away last Wednesday afternoon at his Springfield home surrounded by loved ones including his wife Bonita Stover,73, who was also a former postal worker.

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They met at the Springfield Post Office were Stover worked for more than 57 years. He officially retired in 2016.

“He was so quick witted. No one got the better of Smokey,” Bonita Stover said, recalling what her husband told paramedics shortly after being struck on the corner of North Spring and East Main streets.

When asked how long he served with the post office that day, Stover replied “fifty seven years and one day too long,” the News-Sun reported.

Bonita said they were married in 2017 after being with each other for 26 years.

When they first met, she was a postal clerk.

“When I first knew he was in love with me. He sent me one rose,” Bonita recalled. Shortly after, she received a full bouquet.

Stover grew up in New Moorefield and was an avid baseball player during his time at Northeastern High School and later Ohio Northern University. He would later play for city leagues in Springfield. He also served in the United States Army.

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Bonita said her husband was an avid Cincinnati Reds fan and was known for his pitching skills.

“If he aimed that ball at the button of your shirt, he would hit it,” she said, adding that his pitching skills garnered him his nickname.

Stover went on to serve at his local post office for more than half-a-century, spending 25 of those years as a downtown carrier, where he became well-known by many local businesses on his route.

Later in his career he would often dine at the Fountain on Main on East Main Street, which honored him with a Facebook post shortly after his passing.

Stover took much pride in his years as a local union president, representing postal carriers, were he oversaw an annual food drive held by the post office, his wife Bonita said. He served as president of Letter Carriers Local 45.

Stover will be buried Wednesday morning with military honors at Glen Haven Memorial Gardens. Bonita said funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. and said it will be open to the public.

In addition to his wife, survivors include a son, stepchildren, grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

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