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The time has come for a change in the New Leipzig Post Office.
Postmaster Shirley Hochhalter, who has served the City of New Leipzig for the past 34 years, has decided the time has come for her to retire.
Postmaster Relief for the past 28 years, Nyla Tietz, has also decided now is the time for her to retire.
A bittersweet decision for Hochhalter, “I am really going to miss sorting the mail – that’s a part of the job I have always enjoyed, working with the other employees, and of course, I will miss my customers,” she said with a crackle in her voice and a tear in her eye. However, she is looking forward to freedom from the day to day rigors of the job and exploring the next phase of her life. “I’m looking forward to walking my dog more, getting to the things I never seem to have time for, crafting, cross-stitching, jewelry making, scrap booking... and reading. I have about 400 books on my Kindle that I have to read!”
Thinking about the past 34 years, Hochhalter recalls just how much the postal service has changed over time. “When I started, there was no automation at all, everything had to be done by hand. We had to stamp and sort each and every piece of mail that came into the office. Now so many machines have taken over the menial tasks.” However, the addition of machines didn’t mean the work load was lightened. “After we started using machines, we just had a different type of work to do – so many more reports and things that had to be done by a certain time each day. I am not going to miss the stressful aspects and the structure of the job,” she said with a laugh.
As the Postmaster Relief for the past 28 years, Tietz was in charge of the office duties on days Hochhalter was out of the office. “It has been a fun job and I loved seeing the people, but it’s just time for me to retire,” Tietz explained. “I want to spend more time with my kids and grandkids and help my husband out more.” The two look at each other and share a mischievous smile, “We have been working together for the past 28 years and it’s been a good partnership!” exclaimed Hochhalter.
Both Shirley and Nyla were honored during a “retirement open house” Wednesday, Sept. 26, at the New Leipzig Post Office. The public was welcome to stop in and wish these two well in their retirement, share a memory or two, and enjoy refreshments. As Hochhalter explained, “My last day as the Postmaster will be Friday, Sept. 28. Nyla will continue until Saturday, Sept. 29.”
As one door closes, another opens as Cheryl Johnson of Lemmon will take over duties at the Post Office. Johnson will continue to offer the same service with a smile as has come to be expected at the New Leipzig Post Office.
Best of luck to both Shirley and Nyla as they dive into the next chapter of their lives.
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