As a former paperboy myself, I take off my cap — and canvas delivery bag — to Ed Kastelic, who peddled newspapers for an astounding and possibly record-setting 77 years.

Ed, who died this month at age 93, started spreading the news when he was 10 and kept at it until he was 87, his family says.

“I think he kinda said that was enough,” said son Todd. “I know he had a bad shoulder that would never heal because he constantly had to go over his shoulder to reach in the back seat to get papers. He’d grab a bundle and he’d pull them up.”

Ed was a motorized carrier most of these years, delivering on a loaded down motorcycle and later in a succession of cars that groaned under the weight of 200 or more newspapers.

He lived and died in Plymouth, and he delivered The Milwaukee Journal, Journal Sentinel and Sheboygan Press there and in neighboring communities like Cascade, Batavia, Beechwood and Johnsonville. His home and garage were a distribution center for other Press carriers.

This wasn’t Ed’s only job. According to his obituary, he also worked 39 years at Lakeshire-Marty Cheese Co., which became Borden’s. He managed gas stations. And he drove a school bus. In some years, he had all four jobs at once, Todd said.

Married in 1947, Ed and his bride Isabelle rode that same motorcycle to California for their honeymoon. They had 12 children, many who helped him deliver papers or had routes of their own. Todd remembers going along with his father and being too short to reach the newspaper boxes.

“A lot of us have two jobs,” Todd said. “We keep going because of him. He didn’t tell you what to do. He stood up as an example. He’d always say cut the mustard, you gotta cut the mustard.”

Son Mike said his dad genuinely loved peddling newspapers, a relentless pursuit seven days a week through all sorts of bad weather. There are stories about how he hit a cow in the road with his car on a foggy day but still finished his route, and how he dashed into a burning garage to save his papers while his young son cried, “My dad is going to die!”

“It was in his DNA,” Mike said.

Raised during the Great Depression, Ed grew up poor. His father died when he was a young man, and Ed took very seriously his role as provider in his birth family and also for his dozen children.

Ed’s kids have no doubt their father delivered papers for 77 uninterrupted years, though it’s tough to prove. Circulation department veterans in Sheboygan and Milwaukee remember Ed, but they don’t have records showing his years of service. So they also probably couldn’t tell you that I delivered The Milwaukee Journal on the city’s northwest side from age 12 until just before my 17th birthday, a record in my house, I’m pretty sure.

The Guinness World Records online site says the “longest career as a newspaper boy/girl” is that of Darlyne Markus who delivered papers in Idaho for 50 years from 1958 to 2008.

But a Google search also turns up Gilbert Lindberg of Iowa with 57 years experience, and John Cooper, a carrier in England who is at 69 years and counting.

“I don’t know how they define that, walking down the street or in a car. But there is no question he blows that out of the water. He is the world record holder,” Todd said.

So rest in peace, Ed, and thank you to carriers everywhere who get up early to deliver news to those of us who still prefer ink on paper.

Call Jim Stingl at (414) 224-2017 or email at jstingl@jrn.com. Connect with my public page at Facebook.com/Journalist.Jim.Stingl