Cape rural letter carrier first ‘million mile’ woman
Linda Rose-Ostrowsky has mail delivery in her blood. Her mom, Mildred, is a retired rural letter carrier; dad, Joseph, is a retired city letter carrier; sister, Jodie, is a retired rural letter carrier; and sister, Donna, is a rural letter carrier.
Rose-Ostrowsky has been a rural letter carrier since 1979 and she was recently presented with a “Million Mile” award for 30 years of accident free driving.
Back in 1979 when Rose-Ostrowsky started delivering mail, female letter carriers were few and far between. Today, out of 279 Cape Coral / Fort Myers rural letter carriers, 157 are females.
Rural letter carriers, also known as “Post Office On Wheels,” make up the majority of the delivery routes in Southwest Florida. In the Cape Coral / Fort Myers area there are 208 rural delivery routes and 140 city delivery routes.
Rose-Ostrowsky has delivered mail out of a Chevy Cova, Chevy Corvette, Mercury Comet, postal Jeep and various rental cars during her career. From 1986-2000, her route included deliveries on Hancock Bridge Parkway, one of the most dangerous routes for Cape carriers. The longest route she ever delivered was in St. James City on Pine Island, accumulating 50 miles a day. Currently she delivers on Santa Barbara Boulevard and each day brings near misses.
“With the number of cars on the road and the distractions of cell phones, texting and construction, it leaves the carriers who are stopping on the roadway for deliveries in a vulnerable position” she said.
Rose-Ostrowsky takes her safety seriously and states that the desire to go home to her family is her main motivation.
“The people who I have met, working with and delivering to, have changed my life for the better,” she said. “Many of the stories you hear at the mailbox and the change in families you deliver to as the years go by, bring joy to me everyday. I am proud of the work that I do and the service I can provide to the people on my route.”