Longtime and well-known downtown mail carrier Smokey Stover had to retire from the post office after he got hit by a car while walking on his route. He got married to his longtime partner and fellow postal worker Bonita on Wednesday. Allyson Brown/Staff

Well-known downtown Springfield mailman marries fellow postal worker

Two longtime postal workers — including a well-known downtown carrier forced to retire after getting hit by a car — finally put an official stamp on their relationship Wednesday when they hand-delivered their hearts to each other.

Cephas “Smokey” Stover married his longtime girlfriend Bonita Wipert of 26 years, in a small ceremony in Springfield attended by family and friends.

Stover worked for the post office for more than 57 years, 25 of them walking the downtown delivery route. Then he was hit by a car on his daily route in November 2014 at the intersection of North Spring and East Main streets.

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Since then, he has been recovering from the accident. It wasn’t the first-time Stover was hit by a car.

“A truck backed into him, a big long bed truck. He was coming from his route, he was coming into pick up a loop and he was on the sidewalk. He always obeys every rule because he preaches that and he was on the sidewalk … and he backed into Smokey, knocked him down and the truck went over him. He went between the back wheels and his mail bag saved him,” said newlywed Bonita Stover.

The pair decided to walk the marriage route together within the last week.

She says they waited long enough.

“I don’t know, I just picked the Ides of March and I knew it was the Ides of March but I just thought it was a good day, why not,” said Bonita Stover.

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The two met at the post office.

“He turned in a pink slip one day and I went to get it and our hands touched and I’m not kidding, it was electricity … it was unreal and that was it,” said Bonita Stover.

Kim West, the daughter of the bride, agrees.

“It’s wonderful day,” she said. “I think it’s great and I am glad that it is happening.”

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