After 33 winters of snow storms, ice storms, extreme heat. “100 year flood” and thunder storms, Lennox resident Dean Rothenberger, a City Carrier in Canton, SD decided to hang up his mail satchel.
“But there were plenty of nice days to carry mail too,” Dean says.
When Dean was hired by the United States Postal Service in the Fall of 1990, he joined City Carriers Dick Naatjes, Frank Hofer and Dennis Lundstrom.
Rural Route Carriers were Reavis Heiskell Sr., Jim Madland and Roger Crawford. Clerks were Levy Sehr, Wilma Romereim and Linda Ekle.
Greg Green was the Postmaster that hired Dean. In 33 years, Dean had eight Postmasters. Greg Green, Lori Papka, Ray Cheney, Ralph Delany, Mike Hudson, Terry Schnider, Kevin Riley and current Postmaster OJ Sorlie. Several other clerks and part time carriers came into the office but either transferred out for more hours or moved on to other careers or retired.
After being hired, Dean was also looking for more hours. So after a little over a year, transferred to Sioux Falls where he worked out of the Cliff Annex and Downtown Office. He also delivered Express Mail Packages out of the Downtown Office. Another carrier and Dean would go out to the airport once in the morning and once in the afternoon, splitting packages for Sioux Falls. Dean delivered the West and South side and the other carrier the North and East side. They would put on 60 miles each day.
“Sioux Falls wasn’t near as big as it is now back 31 years ago” says Dean. Then Dean was contacted by Dennis Lunstrom that Frank Hofer and Dick Naatjes were retiring so Dean transferred back to Canton and has been there ever since. He highly credits Dennis Lundstrom for getting him back to Canton. Dennis and Dean became the regular City Carriers for many years together.
Current City Carriers are Dwaine Tiedemann, Beth Oltmans and Jason Naglestad. Rural Route Carriers are Verlyn Williams, Mark Esche, Ryan ‘Buck” Buckneberg, Jared Hill and Stephanie Fossum. Clerk and sometimes carrier is Beth Delfs.
“Time seems to go so fast” Dean states. When I started carrying, I saw families on my route with small kids and watched as those kids grow up from Grade School to High School, Sports and Band, Proms and Graduations and some onto College.
Then some of those kids come back to Canton, get married and start a family of their own. I also think of the special people that have passed on from my route.
I would like to thank all my coworkers from the beginning when I was hired to the current coworkers and everyone that came thru the Canton Post Office in between. I would also like to thank all of my customers on my route. From a good conversation, a cold drink of water or pop on a hot day, a snack now and again. Cards or notes from the kids are the best! All the gifts and baked goods from the past Christmases. I thank all of you! You really made my job so enjoyable! As I retire, I will watch my grandkids, westerns on TV and use my fishing pole. And on a snowy cold day, while I drink my coffee, and watch out my window.. and I will wait for my mailman to bring my mail!! Take care all.”
Reprinted with permission from Sioux Valley News