October 1, 2014 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

When it comes to defining the word ‘family’ in 2014, it is no longer restricted to a nuclear family of a mom, dad, and a kid or two. For many addresses in the Fairacres neighborhood, postal carrier Lisa Tosone has been added to the bunch.

With 30 years at the post office under her mailbag, Tosone knows her way around Omaha and has enjoyed every minute. Since taking her current route in 2009, Fairacres has become her favorite.

Though her days begin inside the Saddle Creek Station, she finds her happy place cruising the streets and spending her lunches among the beautiful greenery.

“People don’t think about landscaping for their postal carrier,” Tosone says, “but I’m the one who truly gets to enjoy it season to season. It’s the perfect job for me.”

An Omaha native, she has a degree in photography and was working at a portrait studio in South Sioux City, Neb., when her brother convinced her to complete the civil service exam. Tosone moved back to Omaha in 1983 and began work at the post office the next year.

Since then she has accumulated many new friends along the way and can’t go anywhere without someone waving ‘hello.’ Just another neighborhood family member saying ‘hi.’ She is even on the email list for the Neighborhood Watch.

“She looks after us, and we look after her,” explains area resident Sue Conine. “We don’t want to lose her.”

She still enjoys taking on small photo projects, whether it’s a portrait in Elmwood Park or creating the perfect shot for her Christmas cards, which are quite popular in the neighborhood. She sends over 200 cards a year. Even though there’s no employee discount for stamps, nothing can stop this mail-delivering powerhouse from spreading a little holiday cheer throughout the ‘hood.

Not even a bilateral knee replacement in February.

Ten short weeks later she was right back on the streets with her eight-hour strolls. Add “through knee replacements” to the post office’s motto of rain, sleet, or snow…and you have Tosone.

Tosone has been retirement-eligible for over three years, but feels she has a few more miles in her, especially when each step and every turn of an ignition brought her closer to posting a major milestone in the world of postage. In July, she was honored with the postal service’s Million Mile Award, which is given to postal employees who drive without an accident for a total of one million miles or 30 years.

With a personal mantra of “When you give good, you get good” in mind, Tosone goes above and beyond the call of duty. And, not surprisingly, she’s something of a mail geek.

“I’m not only a mail carrier,” she chuckles, “but I’m one of our biggest customers. I love to get mail and send mail. I just like everything about it!”