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Thursday, Apr. 24, 2014

Longtime postmaster makes his final delivery

Sunday, May 29, 2011

(Photo)
Danny Kern, postmaster at the Benton post office, retired Friday after almost 34 years with the U.S. Postal Service. He'd been at the Benton location since 1996, and received a cake from co-workers, as well as balloons and cards from others in the community. Michelle Felter, Staff
BENTON -- After 33 years and eight months of employment, Benton's postmaster has retired from the United States Postal Service.

"I'm really going to miss the people," said Danny Kern, who has worked at the Benton branch since 1996. Prior to that, he was a postmaster in Gordonville and Anniston, and began his career with the Postal Service as a part-time clerk in Chaffee.

While Kern said he's seen a lot of changes in his time with the postal service, technology -- specifically computers -- was the biggest.

"What used to take us a week or so to get done is practically instantaneous now," he said. For instance, financial information used to be turned in quarterly, but is now submitted every night, said Kern.

"That's one of the reasons I'm getting out of here -- technology has passed me by," laughed Kern.

In addition to keeping the books, it's Kern's job to ensure mail is forwarded, drum up business for the post office and more. He manages a staff with two rural route drivers, a postmaster relief, and two substitute route drivers.

"It's gotten so busy now that it's hard to carry on a conversation (with customers) like you used to," said Kern.

And those brief conversations, along with Kern's friendliness, are what a lot of the people who work with him on practically a daily basis said they'll miss.

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