Lynn Howard and Charlie Douglas will retire from the Aledo Postal Service Monday, Nov. 30, 2009.

Cathy Decker/Staff reporter
Lynn Howard and Charlie Douglas will retire from the Aledo Postal Service Monday, Nov. 30, 2009.

Two longtime Aledo Postal employees will be honored on their last day of work, Monday, Nov. 30, 2009. Charlie Douglas, has been with the Aledo Post Office his entire career, from Nov. 1, 1972. Lynn Howard, has had nearly 35 years with the United States Postal service, with her start date as March 30, 1975. "I worked in Keithsburg for a year-and-a-half before coming here. I came here in November 1977," she said.

Charlie wanted to walk his route one more time, according to the current postmaster Jennifer Clark, "He'll be back in the Post Office that day around 10:30 a.m.," she said. Lynn will be manning the front desk for the last time that day. "Both Charlie and Lynn will be manning the front desk," said Clark. The Post Office is bringing in cookies and drinks that day for staff and customer appreciation. "We wanted to give everyone an opportunity to say goodbye," said Clark.

Charlie started out as a part-time flexible (PTF) clerk-carrier. "Everyone was hired as a PTF clerk and carrier both," he said. He said he's been through five different postmasters.

There was a two to two-and-a half-year period in his 37-year career with the postal service where he was hired full time and had a route. "I didn't like it," he said. His preference is change. "I tried to talk some of the other carriers into switching routes after a couple of years and nobody wanted to," he said. He went back to be a PTF clerk-carrier, which is what he is today. "I like change," he said.

Charlie says the Postal Service is a lot different today than it was when he first started. "Technology is taking over." He said years ago there were 15 employees at the post office. "Now we're going down to 11."

Charlie may not be delivering the mail anymore, but he is staying on at the post office in one respect. "I'm still going to do the cleaning and maintenance of the building," he said. While this is only a couple hours a day he will still get to keep tabs on the place. "I'm really going to miss the customers."

Charlie is married to his wife Dawn and has three children, twins Andrea and Heather and a son, Christopher. Andrea is going to Northern Baptist Seminary and is married to Michael Mercier. Heather works at 1st Baptist Church, Aledo in youth ministry and Christopher is in the master's program at Southern Illinois University working on a master's degree in English Education. "He wants to go for his doctorate."

Lynn is married to George Howard and between the two, there are four children, two boys, Kyle Markey and Owen Howard and two girls, Lori Howard and Kari Markey. George and Lynn also have two grandchildren Jade Markey and Natalie Robinson.

Lynn said she didn't have any harrowing stories to tell about working at the Post Office. "I've never been held up and the good stories I can't tell," she said. She has enjoyed her job and for the most part has worked as a PTF clerk carrier, with emphasis on the clerk. "I carried very, very little," she said. "I've always been PTF."

Lynn's favorite part of the job is when she is able to help a customer. "I just like helping people. I'm going to miss the people."

She says she is excited about being able to be home, though. "I just hope I can be as active as my folks are," she added. She looks forward to working on the house and being with her kids and grandkids.

Charlie has some thoughts about what he wants to do as well. "I thought about doing something after I retire," he said. Whatever that is, he will probably be having fun. "My philosophy about work - if you have to do a job, make it as much fun as you can," he said.