For nearly three decades, Beverly Snipes has been a fixture at the U.S. Postal Service window in College Park, where, over the years, she’s gone the extra mile tracking down lost letters and packages. But last month, she hung up her uniform.
“I’ve really enjoyed working at the College Park Post Office these past 28 years,” Snipes said following her retirement Jan. 31. “I’ve enjoyed being with my co-workers, and I’ve enjoyed meeting the customers.”
Snipes, 63, began working for the postal service in New Jersey. She and her husband, Michael, 64, moved to Maryland in 1984, and she transferred to the College Park Post Office.
Since then, she’s received numerous letters of thanks from patrons who felt she went above and beyond the call of duty to assist. She keeps the letters in a binder to remember them.
One letter described how she tracked down a certified package sent to Massachusetts that did not reach its destination on time. Another letter describes how the sender miswrote the sending address. Snipes looked up the sender’s phone number and called to get the correct address.
The customer who sticks out the most in Snipes’ mind is a widower whose wife’s ashes were almost lost.
“They got all mixed up in the mail, but I was able to get the ashes of his wife to him. He was very appreciative; I think that was my greatest moment,” Snipes said.
Not all of her interactions with customers have been pleasant, Snipes recalled.
“Sometimes customers come in unhappy, and they want to make you unhappy, but you still have to be courteous,” Snipes said.
Snipes said she’ll miss working at the post office, but she’ll enjoy her retirement.
“You’ve got to keep going, you’ve got to keep moving,” Snipes said.
Now that she’s retired, Snipes said, she and her husband, a retired Region 4 superintendent of the Washington, D.C., school system, plan to travel, likely to Aruba, and possibly do some online sales through eBay.
Former colleague John Hall, who worked with Snipes for over 20 years, said things will not be the same at the post office.
“She’s an excellent person; she always treated me well, and she always had something good to say — a great co-worker,” Hall said.
Tanya Fortson, Snipes’ supervisor for the past seven years, said Snipes had a great work ethic, and was a “very outgoing, open person, always willing to help others.”
“I’ll tell you, Beverly was really a dedicated career civil servant,” her husband said. “It was a constant conversation in the evenings at dinner time, the doings at the College Park Post Office, replete with the customers or situations that she had to respond to during her day or week.”
Her husband, Michael, said her customers weren’t her only focus.
“During the entirety of her career,” he said, “she was also a wonderful and loving wife and mother, raising our daughter and caring for her family while distinguishing herself at work.”