HAWARDEN—One Hawarden resident is hanging up her bag after 33 years working for the U.S. Postal Service.
Jane Waterman, 59, worked her final shift Friday, Sept. 27, but a retirement ceremony was held a day before at the Hawarden Post Office.
“I would say my most memorable day at work was definitely last Thursday when I was honored with a very unexpected retirement ceremony and party attended by co-workers and community members,” Waterman said. “Wow, very humbling.”
Postmaster Doug Riediger welcomed everyone to the ceremony. The American Flag and the Iowa flag were taken down, with patriotic music playing in the back and co-workers Bill Feldhacker, Curt Anderson and Jeri Strong took them down before Riediger spoke a little about Waterman.
“A little history on Jane,” he said. “A long, long time ago, some 33 plus years ago, she took the clerk carry test in 1983 and at the time you could be on the list for 18 months — she never got a job offer. She extended it, lived in Scotland [SD] at the time. She moved to Beresford [SD] and they offered her the job in Scotland. Back and forward she would drive, for what? Two hours on Saturdays — that is dedication. Three months later she was offered to work at Beresford. She did that for a few years. In 1990 we, the Hawarden community, were lucky to have her accept a job offer here.”
The postmaster at the time of Waterman’s hire date was the late Bruce McInnis. When Waterman took the job in Hawarden, she was pregnant with twins. While she was nervous to make the transition, she felt the move was right and it has been where she has dedicated her time ever since. She has four grown children, Brian, Becky, Sadie and Sophie, 10 grandkids with one on the way this coming spring.
Those important people to Waterman are the reasons she is most excited to be retiring.
“My plans going into retirement are, short-term, to enjoy watching my new home being built and to be able to spend more time with my kids and grandkids,” Waterman said. “It’ll be nice to be able to attend Saturday events, since working Saturdays has been my life for 33 years — so I had to miss a lot. I also have a daughter and son in-law who have recently bought and are renovating a building downtown and will open a new business in the near future, so I am excited to watch that come together and help where I can.”
Waterman will remain living in Hawarden as she said, “it is such a nice community, it has again been proven to me thought this transition in my life.”
She has enjoyed the job she has done at the post office and said she has always enjoyed the interaction with the customers.
“I have always loved the aspect of my job that has allowed me to interact with the many wonderful people of the community,” Waterman said. “It has been a pleasure! The appreciation that so many have shown over the years is heartwarming and so appreciated by me. It really means a lot. Especially on those days trudging through snow in the cold.”
Waterman also said she has worked with wonderful, hardworking people through the years. One of those people includes working with McInnis’s granddaughter, Amy.
“It’s been great,” Waterman said. “ So, that is neat — good people. Many became good friends and remain close. I will also miss that part of the job too — lovely co-workers and wonderful customers.”