A career that has spanned nearly four decades came to a joyous end last month. After 37 years with the US Postal Service, James Wryals turned his keys in one last time and bid farewell to his colleagues at the Post Office branch in Immokalee.
Wryals, a native of Immokalee, said that back when he first started working with the Postal Service, his route took him from Immokalee to several miles south of what is now Alligator Alley. “Back in those days Alligator Alley was just a two lane road” Wryals said as he thought about all the changes that have come along since he first started. “When I first started I drove my own vehicle, driving one of their vehicles was just another change that came about over time” Wryals said.
Wryals’ dedication to the Postal Service has also earned him a bit of recognition along the way. The News-Press was one of the first news outlets to take notice of his dedication and in turn wrote a piece about him in September of 1996 titled Special Delivery: Rural carriers keep tradition alive for postal outposts.
In 2013, Wryals was awarded the US Postal Service’s One Million Mile Club award after completing at least one million miles without ever having a preventable incident.
So what’s next for Wryals as he no longer has to wake up and rush off to deliver the mail? “I’ll be spending more time with the ministry at Iglesia Bautista Nuevo Testamento. I’ve spent a lot of time helping minister there and I plan on continuing to do just that.” Wryals said.
There are a few things that have kept Wryals going: God, his family, and his wife Sandra. Wryals said that his wife started as a school bus driver before working as an ESE aide. She later took night classes to become an ESE teacher at Immokalee Middle School. According to Wryals, “she’s the real story!”
Thank you James for your dedicated service to the people in and around Immokalee!
Travis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org