Kewaunee postmaster says goodbye
Terry VanPay, who has worked at more than 12 post offices in Northeastern Wisconsin, retired after 15 years as postmaster of the Kewaunee Post Office last week.
“Of all the places I’ve been, Kewaunee was the best community I worked in,” she said.
As she stood in front of the postmaster’s oak door under the mural of a winter scene painted during the 1930s, she added, “and the crew here was the best I have ever had.”
VanPay has lived in Kewaunee County most of her life, and it is the only Kewaunee County post office where she was stationed during her 39 years with the United States Postal Service.
She grew up in Ellisville and graduated from Luxemburg High School in 1965. After working several other places, VanPay got her first job with the U.S. Postal Service in 1976, working part-time in the Green Bay facility while raising two children. Over the years she rose through the ranks and worked in post offices in Chilton, Sister Bay, Manitowoc and Oneida, as well as numerous other locations, before being named Kewaunee postmaster in 2000.
“What I liked most about the job was the people I met and worked with,” she said. “There were lots of different situations.”
For the last 30 years she has lived in East Kroc and her children attended Kewaunee High School.
Her daughter, Becky, and her sister, Mary, organized a retirement party for her at the Rendezvous last week and she was heading to the post office on Monday to mail thank you notes to many of the people who attended.
“The party was just awesome,” she said. “I couldn’t get to sleep afterward, I was still so excited.”
The employees of the Kewaunee Post Office also hosted a surprise party for her on Dec. 31.
“It was extremely humbling,” she said.
In her first year of retirement, she plans to do some cross-country skiing as well as volunteer at Winter Park. She is also planning a trip to Florida and said she may be talked into bowling with friends.
Right now, the Kewaunee Post Office is managed by Tim Nuthals, officer in charge, while the postal service interviews people for the postmaster position, she said.
“It was a wonderful ride,” said VanPay. “The postal service gave me many opportunities all the way through.”
This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press Gazette: Kewaunee postmaster says goodbye