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Gering postal clerk Marker set to retire
November 25, 2015 Jerry Purvis   

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Photo by Jerry Purvis/Gering Citizen Jan Marker rearranges the displays at her window at the Gering Post Office. Marker is retiring after 29 years of postal experience.

On Nov. 27, a familiar face in the Gering Post Office will close the service window after 29 years with the US Postal Service as Janice Marker heads home to “suburban Melbeta.”

Known as Jan by her customers, she’s been at the front window at the Gering office for the past three years.

Marker said she started with the Postal Service before it was even counted on her years of service. “I started as a postmaster relief in McGrew,” she said. “I spent about a year filling in for the postmaster there. At the time, McGrew was its own post office, but they were converting it to a community branch office that’s affiliated with another post office.”

Today, the community post office in McGrew is affiliated with Bayard.

During her year at the McGrew office, Marker took the Civil Service exam and her name was put on a list of candidates. After an interview, she was hired as a part-time flex clerk in 1986.

“I served in Bayard for about four years,” she said. “As part of the job, I’d also help fill in at Bridgeport, Minatare, Scottsbluff and Gering. When I learned about an opening in Gering, I applied for a transfer.”

Working as a part-time flex clerk out of the Gering office, Marker took on a number of assignments. Some of her temporary assignments included officer in charge at post offices in Lyman and Harrison. She also filled in as desk supervisor at the Gering office.

When two of the long-time clerks retired about three years ago, Marker was moved to full-time window clerk.

Although she’s a Bayard native, Marker sees many similarities between her hometown and Gering. “There are a lot of nice people in both towns,” she said. “They remind me of each other.”

One of the big changes she’s seen in her time in Gering was going from two mail delivery trucks a day down to one. The one truck doesn’t come to Gering, but to Scottsbluff. Gering mail carriers are now working out of that office, although they deliver the mail in Gering.

“All we deal with here in the Gering office for the last four or five years are the post office boxes and taking care of customers for stamps, mailing packages and tracking down lost packages,” she said. “All we get here is the post office box mail. Losing the mail carriers was a big heartbreaker for me. They were good for our customers and I really believe in customer service.”

Marker said she has been thinking about retirement for the past few years. Many of the people she worked with have already retired.

“It seems like a long time ago,” she said, “but I also remember the first time I walked through the door.”

She added she’ll miss the customers, but looks forward to perhaps doing some traveling, but mostly spending more time with her family on the farm just outside Melbeta.
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