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Butler County Times Gazette
  • Mailman retires after almost 45 years on the job

  • Popular mail carrier says good-bye
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  • Dennis Berner is easily one of the most well known and popular people in Augusta.  
    As a postman for almost 45 years in the same community as he was raised, he has seen Augusta grow and he has seen families along his routes grow through several generations.  Over the years he's done more than just deliver the mail; he's become a part of their lives.  Many residents looked forward to seeing him every day.
    “I’ll miss them a lot.  Getting to meet and visit with people was the best part,” Berner said.
    Last Friday was, at long last, his red-letter day.  After 44 years and 10 months, he decided to retire from the post office.
    His father was a custodian at the Augusta Post Office when he, at 19, became the youngest employee in the local facility in 1970.
    “Orville Hopkins was postmaster and I worked part time as a clerk.  I sorted and separated - opened the office and closed the office in the evenings.  I had flexible  hours,” he continued. “When I got married in 1982, I had the opportunity to get more hours by becoming a carrier. I filled in for others during vacations and sick leave.  In 1985 I was a full-time carrier and the last route I was covering was one I was assigned in 1997.”
    Through the years, Berner worked for nine postmasters, walked and drove thousands of miles and saw a lot of changes.  Many of those changes involve technology.  Much of sorting the mail is now done by machine and no longer by hand.  
    But paperwork and stress were part of the job, as was the weather.
    He explained, “The weather gets to you after awhile. It wasn’t always fun walking in bad weather and with the motorized routes, you worry about getting stuck in the deep snow and all the time, you want to finish before dark.”
    Berner is proud he was only bitten once by a dog.
    “Augusta doesn’t have a big problem with dogs.  I’ve been lucky,” he said.
    A retirement reception held by his co-workers last Friday morning was bitter-sweet as they wished him well and  shared some fond memories.
    “It’s hard to see him go.  He’s a joy to work with. He’s my rock. He’s good to everyone and a gentleman,”  local postmaster Cindy Martin said.
    Martin also advised his co-workers would miss his singing in the office each morning as he prepared for his mail deliveries.
    Berner doesn’t plan on sitting around, however.  He’s making plans to find a part time job and staying busy  - at least -  until his wife, Jan, an Augusta Middle School teacher, retires in a few years.
    Page 2 of 2 - “It’s been fun.  It’s been a good job. I’m going to miss everyone,” he added with a smile. “But I’m not going to miss that winter weather.”