Serving the Big Horn Basin for over 100 years

Longtime carrier walks final route Friday

WORLAND — “It’s not for sissies.” That’s how retiring Worland postal carrier Donna Beckstead described her job during an interview last week.

Bechstead will go on her route one final time tomorrow (Friday). She walks about six to seven miles a day, in addition to driving a portion of her route that encompasses from the railroad east to the canal, and from Veterans Park to the north side of Big Horn Avenue.

She wasn’t always a carrier though. Beckstead began her U.S. Postal Service career in 1987 in Salt Lake City as temporary employee. She worked five years in the main distribution center in Salt Lake City.

A Worland graduate, Beckstead and her husband moved to Worland in the early 1990s. Her father, Ron Krei, worked 30 years at the Worland Post Office, retiring as a window clerk in 1989. He told her there was an opening and she has served the Worland community as a postal carrier ever since.

“My dad called and said there was a position they couldn’t fill. He said to come home and bring the grandkids,” Beckstead.

Raising her children in Worland was much safer than the city, she noted. “I’m glad I came home. This is where the community helps raise your kids,” she said. She and her husband Mike have three grown children, all of whom graduated from WHS.

Switching from working in the distribution center to a carrier was a perfect fit for Beckstead. “I love carrying more than anything because of my customers. I’ve established relationships with my customers.” She said the route has about 600 customers.

There are four routes in the city of Worland.

Beckstead said being a postal carrier in Worland is a true team effort. “There is a huge network of people that make my job possible,” she said, from the crews at the distribution centers in Casper and Denver to the clerks who work in the back of the Worland Post Office and the window clerks up front.

“Without my team I’m not able to do my job. The team is crucial,” Beckstead said.

While her customers are the easiest and most enjoyable part of her job, the elements are the toughest.

“We work six to seven hours a day regardless of the conditions or temperatures, heat, cold, ice,” she said. “We really appreciate when customers keep the approach to their mailboxes clear,” not just from the weather but children toys and lawn care equipment, she said.

In her 30-plus years with the Postal Service, Beckstead has witnessed a few changes including the coming of the digital age where now they carry scanners (complete with GPS so the Postal Service always knows where their carriers are). She said when she started the Postal Service was the only way to send packages. Now they have many competitors. “We have to be on top of our game,” she said.

What hasn’t changed is that the Postal Service is not funded by the government but is regulated by the federal government.

What’s next for Beckstead? She’ll finalize training her replacement today and tomorrow and then enjoy retirement, which will include quality time with extended family and enjoying more of the outdoors— camping, fishing and hiking.

Beckstead said she will continue refereeing soccer and volleyball.