After 44 years of service, James R. Bailey retired from the Azalea Post Office in Tyler.

“It’s been a pleasure, let me tell you,” Bailey said.

Bailey began working as a postal clerk in 1973 and according to Postmaster Folanda Woods, he set the bar.

“I think Mr. Bailey has only been off one time since I’ve been working, he always says keep going until you get the job done,” Woods said.

His wife, Pat Bailey, said that watching her husband say goodbye to co-workers is bittersweet.

“It’s wonderful, and sad, and very emotional,” Pat said.

Out of all of the things he will miss most, Bailey said he will miss the people.

“Being with the people. The people that live and work here, that’s the main thing,” Bailey said.