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Wednesday, Oct 01, 2014

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Charles "Charlie" Tholin built a special relationship with his customers

Photo courtesy of: University Communications and Marketing

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University mourns death of beloved Baker University Center Post Office clerk


Former Baker University Center Post Office clerk Charles "Charlie" Tholin, 65, died July 3, 2014 in Coolville, Ohio, after a long illness.

Tholin, who retired from the U.S. Postal Service almost four years ago, had worked at the Baker University Center Post Office since it was created in 1997. During that span, he became known for his gregarious personality, caring demeanor and exceptional customer service.

Tony Arocho, Tholin's Baker University Center Post Office replacement, said following in his close friend's footsteps has been extremely difficult because of the unique services he provided and the special relationships he developed with his customers.

"Charlie always went above and beyond for his customers by providing them with free tape for their packages, personal advice or anything else they needed to have a pleasant transaction," Arocho said. "There are a few special things that I do for customers because Charlie used to do them. I even kept the same office set up he had because it allows me to work faster and leave the station less."

Arocho said although Tholin hasn't worked on campus since late 2010, people still come by the post office looking for him.  

"Many former students who return to campus come here looking for Charlie because he had developed a special relationship with them," Arocho said. "He would always say how much he really enjoyed his job. His customers appreciated how special he made them feel and how hard he worked."

Winsome Chunnu-Brayda, associate director of multicultural programs, said she first met Tholin as a graduate student in 2003.

"Charlie was always helpful, caring and outgoing," Chunnu-Brayda said. "The way he interacted with his customers was such a joy. When he became ill, I was really broken up because I thought no one can replace Charlie – he's too amazing. He will always be remembered for putting a smile on everyone's face and the great work that he did. He took the time to help everyone and is really missed."

Linda Donley, an administrative assistant in the Office of Community Standards and Student Responsibility, said she will remember Tholin as compassionate and understanding.

"He would give you an encouraging word if you were under stress and he had a great memory," Donley said. "He would remember you, your grandkids, and husband, and if you told him about a problem you were having, he would continue to ask you about it because he was concerned. He was always optimistic, even about his sickness."

Tholin's obituary listed his interests as music, survival techniques, science fiction movies, and taking care of stray dogs and cats. His love of animals led him to become a volunteer at the Parkersburg Humane Society.

A native of Kingston, N.Y., Tholin is survived by his wife, Enid, and two adult daughters, Erica Chaddock and Aryn Myers. He also leaves behind four grandchildren, a sister and two nieces. Memorial donations in his name can be made to the Washington County Hospice, Parkersburg Humane Society and the American Cancer Society.