Sweet treat with special meaning honors late mailman - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Sweet treat with special meaning honors late mailman

LE MARS, Iowa (KTIV) -

Life can be pretty sweet in Le Mars, Iowa.  Ice cream cones line the streets of the self-proclaimed "Ice Cream Capital of the World."  The cone in front of the town's post office has a bittersweet story.  It was painted in honor of longtime mail carrier Pat Holton, who

"He loved going to work.  He never missed work," said wife Karol.

Holton died of pancreatic cancer, right before he retired.

"I remember going with him to the post office on the 8th of June after we were done at the hospital, and I said I don't think I'm going to be back," said Karol.

Pat died 47 days after the diagnosis.  He'd delivered mail along rural routes for 37 years. 

"He made life-long friends," remarked Karol.

The only one he'd known longer was Karol.  They were high school sweethearts, met freshman year, and spent 45 years growing old together.  Two years after Pat's death, he's still missed.

"He would do anything for anyone, absolutely anyone," Karol remembered.

"Always had a good time with him.  He did a lot for the community," said retired mail carrier and friend Glenn Waite.

He was the kind of father kids could talk to.  It's those conversations son Scott misses the most.

"I trusted him.  He was always there.  Kind of I guess, if you will, our "drop box" for thoughts," described Scott.

The drop box was inspiration for the post office cone.  Scott spent countless hours painting to perfection.

"I just wanted it to be better.  I think it was 11:30, I started over on the top," explained Scott.

"It was just like a mission.  You're just driven from within," added Karol, who's taught painting for decades.

The finished creation now stands under an American flag in front of the post office for everyone to see.

"I want them to know how much he loved his work, and how much he loved the community," Karol said.

A tribute making a sour side of life, sweet again. 


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