While a delivery truck means a long-awaited package has finally arrived, one town is just as appreciative of the man behind the wheel.
So much so, the town has named a day after him.
“His dedication to us all does not go unnoticed,” a proclamation declaring Dec. 1 as “UPS Kevin Day” in the Lewis County town of Pe Ell reads.
Adopted through a proclamation passed on Nov. 21, the day recognizes longtime UPS driver Kevin Aselton for the “punctuality, honesty and reliability" he's brought over the past 20 years. The proclamation encourages “all businesses, citizens and members of all nearby communities” to “show our appreciation to a man who goes far beyond what is required of him.”
After 34 years with UPS, Aselton said he was touched by the gesture, adding that residents of Pe Ell are “like family.”
“I’m just treated great,” he said. “I’m very lucky.”
The idea was proposed by Shawna and Patrick Oeschner, Pe Ell residents who said they wanted to celebrate Aselton for his kindness and commitment. Shawna, a Pe Ell elementary school teacher, said Aselton is “one of the nicest people you could ever meet.”
“My kids, when little, always screamed in excitement whenever they saw a UPS truck,” Shawna said. “He always makes sure packages are delivered in a dry spot when we are not home.”
When presented with the idea, Pe Ell Mayor Lonnie Willey was instantly on board. Celebrated on Dec. 1, the day comes during the busiest time of year for UPS as deliveries increase ahead of the holiday season.
“He deserves it,” Willey said. “He goes above and beyond.”
When presented with the idea, Aselton said he was “blown away.”
“I was shocked. It means a lot,” he said. “I’m very lucky.”
While he doesn’t have big plans for the day, Aselton said he appreciates those who stop to thank him while on his route. A lifelong Lewis County resident, Aselton said work days typically speed by.
For him, the best part of his job is the relationships built through the years.
“When I wake up in the morning and go to work, I never dread it,” he added.
His dedication and positive attitude inspired 3-year-old Grayson Toepelt, who dressed up as a UPS driver for Halloween this year.
“I truly believe we need more people like him in the world,” Grayson’s mom, Amber Toepelt, said. “Kevin just goes above and beyond.”
Aselton described the costume as “an honor.”
“It was great,” Aselton said of seeing the costume. “I thought it was something special.”
And despite the stereotype of a dog attacking the mailman, four-legged friends seem just as happy when the big brown truck stops by.
“Dogs love him and try to get in with him for their treats,” Shawna said.
The resolution is the latest honor for Aselton, following his induction into the UPS Circle of Honor in February 2021.
The Circle of Honor recognizes drivers with at least 25 years of a clean driving record and includes just over 10,500 drivers.
“Kevin is the embodiment of what UPS wants out of their employees,” Supervisor Jake Gieseke wrote in an email. “His dedication to his customers goes well beyond just the time he spends on the clock. Fielding calls and relaying instructions to drivers who fill in for him when he is away, and holding them accountable for any mistakes made in his absence. He holds himself, and his co-workers, to the highest standard of the company’s last name, service. He performs his duties safely and timely, earning a spot in the company’s coveted Circle of Honor. A distinction only given to drivers who go accident-free for over 25 years.”
In February, Aselton will reach 29 years of safe driving, a career that includes 840,000 miles driven and almost 1.5 million packages delivered.
“We here at UPS are incredibly proud of Kevin and his faithful execution of the core values of UPS: safety, service, performance,” Gieseke wrote.
A father of three, Aselton said his family is his backbone. His wife, Juli, said Aselton has “made many friends throughout the years and I’m so proud of him.”
“He’s just always so thankful for the customers on his route,” Juli said. “Everyone treats him like family. It always amazes me how generous the Town of Pe Ell is.”