Archive for Thursday, July 13, 2000

Longtime postmaster retires

July 13, 2000

The Eudora Post Office will have to find another boss after Friday.

Terry Crabbs is retiring from his position as postmaster after 22 years. Crabbs turns 55 today. Having worked over 30 years for the U.S. Postal Service 33 to be exact he is now eligible for retirement. Crabbs said his birthday gives him an important reason for retiring.

"Because I can," Crabbs said.

Crabbs began his career in Illinois as a mail carrier, continuing the job in Shawnee Mission after moving to Kansas City, Mo. in 1971. He was promoted to a station manager, which led to an opening for the Eudora postmaster job in 1978.

Crabbs said the commute over two decades wasn't a burden, but odd considering most commute to K.C., not from it.

"I don't have any problems with the commute," Crabbs said. "It's just different when I'm going one way, everybody else is going the other way."

Crabbs said the biggest burden, as is for any postal worker, is the seemingly endless amounts of mail. When he first started, the office handled around 200 pieces of mail each day.

Times have changed.

"We probably get 10,000 pieces in here a day, " Crabbs said. "If you come in here at 6:15 a.m. on Monday morning, you'd be amazed at how much mail is here."

Eudora's recent growth has stressed the office to handle more pieces of mail, but changes in technology have helped the small-town office cope. Computers now scan bar codes and read addresses, aiding the mail's sorting.

Having good help doesn't hurt either.

Kathleen Brown, clerk, has worked under Crabbs for 19 years. Crabbs was her first and only boss at the post office, which she considers a privilege.

"He's been a good boss," laughed Brown. "Of course, I've got nothing to compare it too."

She said the retirement would bring the loss of a carefree, laid-back boss.

"Oh yeah, he's a good ol' boy," Brown laughed. "People think he's got no sense of humor, but he's funny. He's just plain funny."

Some of Crabb's extracurricular activities have included playing bridge and singing with the Kansas City Symphony. He has also volunteered with wife Paula to help teach reading in a literacy program. Though skilled at bridge and a lover of singing he is adamant about being able to help others read.

"There's a high percentage of the population who can't read," Crabbs said. "It's maybe 20-25 percent of the population."

He's not sure what his future would bring.

"I'm planning to work at something," Crabbs said. "I'm not sure what that is yet. Anything is possible; I'm just ready for a change.

"Not everybody has the opportunity to get a retirement at my age and go on from there."

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