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SATURDAY, APRIL 28, 2007
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Delores Schmit retired as Courtland postmaster Friday.
Daily photo by Gary Lloyd
Delores Schmit retired as Courtland postmaster Friday.

Saying goodbye
Co-workers surprise retiring postmaster with party

By Ronnie Thomas
rthomas@decaturdaily.com 340-2438

COURTLAND — Employees at the Courtland Post Office knew how to surprise their retiring postmaster.

Dolores Schmit, after 14 years on the job, won't leave the building for the last time until Monday at 4 p.m. She doesn't officially retire until Tuesday.

So, when she followed her normal routine and came to work at 6 a.m. Friday, she was astounded to notice how hard the employees had worked to give her a premature sendoff.

Balloons and banners, along with old photos spread around the room and a counter filled with homemade treats, greeted her as she walked into the lobby. An oversized card for all of her customers to sign rested at the counter where she works.

"It was emotional," said Schmit, 65, who lives in Moulton and has 28 years with the U.S. Postal Service. "I stood there by myself, and I cried."

Her chores caught up, she had left the building at 1 p.m. Thursday.

That's when the staff shifted into overdrive, decorating the place. They are her clerk, Carrie Naylor, mail carriers Jeanette Hutto and Lana Cole, and custodian James McDaniel. Customer Diane Hamilton baked cookies, cakes and candy, enough to last the day.

Schmit was born in Courtland but grew up in Chicago, where she lived for 40 years before returning home.

She said Billy Morris, the postmaster at Valhermoso Springs, will serve Courtland temporarily until a new postmaster arrives.

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