Regional mailman ends 38-year career

Posted on November 19, 2021.

Laurie Fifield spent 38 years as a letter carrier at Cedar Springs. Courtesy photo.

By Sue Wolfe

December 31st will not only mark the end of this calendar year, but it will also mark the end of Laurie Fifield’s thirty-eight year career serving the residents of the Cedar Springs area as a United States Letter Carrier.

Fifield has mixed emotions but knows it’s time. She is the last of the original Cedar Springs carriers to be moved to the Rockford US Mail Distribution Center 12 years ago.

Fifield joined the US Postal Service in 1983 on a part-time basis. After being a substitute for 13 years, she began her full-time responsibilities on Route # 1, now known as Route # 31. The current route requires traveling 70 miles per day with 581 stops in rain, snow, wind, or bumpy roads. It encompasses an area that stretches east of the city limits of Cedar Springs to Lincoln Lake Road and south of 20 Mile Road to the M57. What was once considered a “letter delivery service” now includes multiple packages of all shapes and weights.

Much in the US postal system has changed dramatically over the past 38 years.

“When I started, carriers had multiple responsibilities, including working inside the post office. When needed, I helped Postmaster Ben Downer before or after my duties as a transporter, ”said Fifield. “We sorted our own mail into boxes and stacked it in our own vehicles. Fifield has passed through six personal vehicles over the 38 years. Her current car’s odometer reads 185,000 miles and she is also ready for retirement.

After overcoming a 9-year battle with lung disease, Fifield is now in remission and anxiously awaiting retirement. When asked what retirement is like, she replied, “My husband Chip and I are going to the Florida Keys, visit our daughter in Nevada, pick blueberries in the summer, camp and pontoon in Bear. Lake and then spend more time working on our hobby. cultivate.”

She will be deeply missed by the many friends she has made throughout her journey over these 38 years. “I see my route as a service to my people. I am grateful for my work and really appreciated it. My mom always told me to smile and find the right one in every day. I hope I have done this for my clients, ”said Fifield.

For those who drive along Highway 31, there is still time to thank Fifield for her loyal service and wish her well as she sets out on a new route in her life course.

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