Aspen mailman dies unexpectedly Wednesday while working
A beloved Aspen mailman died suddenly while on the job Wednesday afternoon.
Charles Edward Cline IV, 53, of Basalt, was found unconscious outside an office at the Concept 600 building on Main Street a little after noon Wednesday, Aspen Assistant Police Chief Bill Linn said Thursday.
An unknown bystander was performing CPR on Cline when officers arrived, Linn said.
The officers continued CPR and used a portable defibrillator on Cline but he did not regain consciousness, so an ambulance transported him to Aspen Valley Hospital, he said.
The cause and the manner of Cline’s death remains unknown.
“Cline had no known history of medical issues,” said Pitkin County Coroner Steve Ayers.
“When a sudden death of this nature occurs, it is usually cardiac-related,” he said. “We’ll have to wait for autopsy to know why he died.”
An autopsy is scheduled for Friday in Jefferson County, according to Pitkin County Deputy Coroner Jennifer Diamond.
Cline had worked at the U.S. Postal Service in Aspen for about a year and a half, Aspen Postmaster Elizabeth Turner said Thursday.
As the city letter carrier, Cline primarily delivered mail throughout the downtown area, Turner said.
While it seems Cline hadn’t lived in the valley for long, those who knew and interacted with the mail carrier spoke highly of him.
“He was one of the most wonderful people in Aspen,” Susanna Miller said. “It’s a great loss to the U.S. post office and everybody that he delivered mail to.”
Miller, who works at the law firm Holland & Hart LLP on Cline’s downtown delivery route, said she and Cline “shared laughs together” everyday.
“I was very, very fond of him,” she said. “I’m still trying to grasp (his death).”
Alison Blair, who works at the front desk of Reese Henry & Company Inc., another office that’s located within Cline’s delivery route, said she also enjoyed Cline’s company.
“Every Friday (Cline) would ask me my plans for the weekend,” Blair said. “And whenever I’d say, ‘No plans this weekend,’ he’d say, ‘Those are the best kind.’”
Blair said Cline would tell her office that although he worked long days, “he didn’t mind because he loved being outside and doing the work.”
She emphasized Cline’s love of the outdoors — along with his love of beer and women.
“He was a huge flirt, … and he told me how he loved to drink beer,” said Blair, noting, “I don’t think that’s a secret.”
Cline used to be a professional golfer, according to Blair, who believes that he, at one point, also owned a business within the financial realm somewhere else.
Cline, who allegedly does not have any family in the area, relocated to Aspen from Montana “because it was too cold there,” she said.
The Aspen post office declined to confirm or reveal any details about Cline’s background, citing the U.S. Postal Service’s media policy.
As far as Cline’s role at the post office, Turner said he “was an excellent employee,” and that any feedback from his customers was always positive.
“It’s a very hard time in the office right now as well as for our customers,” she said. “Charlie will be missed greatly.”
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