Positively Buffalo: The King of Colden


COLDEN, N.Y. (WIVB) — Don’t let age fool you.

At 86-years-old, Bill Fleckenstein is still the talk of the town.

“Sunny. He has a sunny disposition, a sunny personality. Just a kind person,” said Rebecca Vincent, a cashier at the local market.

“He’s a great guy. He’ll do anything for anybody,” said Gary Roblee, Bill’s friend.

“He’s one of them people… nothing could probably bring him down. He could’ve found out something that morning but he’s always gonna be pretty happy and go lucky and just not going to let it affect his day,” said Mike Zielinski, the owner of Lawerence’s Tavern.

Bill was the Colden Postmaster for nearly 3 decades.

“They had the civil service exam for the post office on Saturday so I said well I won’t lose a day’s pay, I’ll take the test and I got the job,” said Bill.

He delivered the mail, and the stories, to the southtown.

“We had postal business with him almost every day. He only lives two houses up from us now. Our paths cross daily,” said Martin McMahon.

“I’ve known him 51 years at the post office. Got to be good friends with him and his wife. Can’t find anybody better than him!” said Jean Ferraro.

Bill also spent time on the railroad, providing for his 5 kids.

Before that, the longtime Cubs fan served in Korea.

He’s always had a big impact on the small town.

“My husband will call him the king of Colden because when you think of Colden you think of a Fleckenstein,” said Mary Laflamme, Bill’s daughter.

Despite the praise he hears everyday, he doesn’t think he’s anything special.

“I’m just an ordinary guy..” said Bill.

His charm is obvious.

“He embodies all of the qualities that you want in people. He certainly embodies and he brings a lot of pride to Colden,” said Martin McMahon.

The “King of Colden” still makes special deliveries — years after he left his job at the Post Office.

But these deliveries are different.

“He walks in and everyone has a smile on their face just because he does,” said Vincent.

And they have a bigger, more positive impact than he could ever imagine.

“The energy he gives off makes people feel good about themselves. He doesn’t like to leave someone if they don’t feel good about themselves,” said Laflamme.

If you have a story about people doing good in your community, let us know.

Send an email to positivelybuffalo@wivb.com

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