Brown celebrates milestone mark at Brandon P.O.
September 03. 2013 11:39AM
Howard Brown is known as “the rock” of the Brandon Post Office by co-workers.
“Howard has been a very dedicated employee – you can always count on him,” said Eunice Roozenboom, manager of postal operations for zip codes 570 and 572. “Over the last couple of years, there has been a lot of people come here as acting postmaster but he’s been the rock for the Brandon Post Office.”
Last week, fellow employees celebrated Brown’s 30th year of employment with the United States Postal Service. What’s more impressive is that all 30 years of his postal career has been in the Brandon office.
His three-decade career, he said, was the result of following up on a help wanted ad his wife, Nancy, encouraged him to look into.
“I had started at Morrell’s right out of high school and worked there nine years, and it was getting to the point that I didn’t really want to be there anymore,” Brown recalled.
So he heeded his wife’s advice and soon after passing the civil service test, was hired on as a part-time window clerk by then-Postmaster Lyle Sturdevant.
“The first few years it was very part-time,” said Brown, who also worked in the Sioux Falls Post Office for three years before stepping up to full-time in Brandon.
“It feels good to get 30 years in, and I’m really glad I decided to come here,” he said.
During his three decades with the postal service, Brown has been witness to many changes, mostly which came in the name of progress, for instance, the postage stamp, which cost a mere 20 cents 30 years ago.
Sorting mail also became easier when it went to automation. The job, he said, used to be done by hand but is now sorted by machine in Sioux Falls and is then brought to various post offices, such as Brandon.
As expected, Brown has had many “strange” packages come over the counter.
“There’s been a lot of live animals – pigeons, bees, crickets, chickens and even cremations,” he said. “I actually had a cremated dog yesterday.”
Despite the “oddities, no regrets, is how the 57-year-old sums up his career to date.
“I don’t know if I’d still be at Morrell’s or not. The rest of my family is in farming, so I may have went into that,” he said. “But instead the good Lord led me in the right direction.”
Brown said he intends to work until he’s at least 62. “Then we’ll see where I’m at,” he said.
The Browns, who have been married for 33 years, have two daughters and two grandchildren.
Brandon resident Kelley Leihfeldt will be appointed as Brandon’s new postmaster next month. She will assume that title Sept. 24. Until then, Bart Weaver remains in place as acting postmaster.