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Area mail carrier concludes her 38-Year career

Laurie Fifield has spent 38 years as a mail carrier in Cedar Springs. Courtesy photo.

By Sue Wolfe

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

Fifield has mixed emotions but knows “it’s time.” She is the last of the original Cedar Springs carriers who transferred to working out of the Rockford US Mail Distribution Center 12 years ago. 

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

Many things within the US Mail System have significantly changed over the last 38 years. 

“Back when I started, carriers had multiple responsibilities including working inside the post office. When needed, I would help then Postmaster Ben Downer before or after my duties as a carrier,” said Fifield. “We sorted our own mail into boxes and stacked them into our own vehicles.” Fifield has gone through six personal vehicles over the 38 years. Her current car’s odometer shows 185,000 miles and it too is ready for retirement. 

After overcoming a 9-year battle with lung disease, Fifield is now in remission and looking forward to retirement. When asked what retirement looks like she said, “My husband Chip and I will head for the Keys in Florida, visit our daughter in Nevada, pick blueberries in the summer, camp and pontoon at Bear Lake, and then spend more time working our hobby farm.”  

She will deeply miss the many friends she has made along her route over these 38 years. “I consider my route as a service to my people. I am grateful for my job and have really enjoyed it. My mom always told me to smile and find the good in each day. I hope I have done that for my patrons,” said Fifield. 

For those along Route 31, there is still time to thank Fifield for her faithful service and wish her well as she transitions into a new route of her life journey.

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