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Brenda Manley
Retirement delivers Postmaster Brenda Manley back to her family posted on 03/01/2021

Brenda Manley, postmaster for the U.S. Postal Service in the Mount Hood region, retired in February after a 30-year career serving the mountain communities.

 

Manley ended her role as the postmaster in Welches, Government Camp, Brightwood and Rhododendron. She currently resides in Rhododendron and plans to spend her retirement enjoying all the activities available in the region during the work week.

“I’ve been so fortunate I get to live, work and play on the mountain. I’ll be doing a lot more playing Monday through Friday,” Manley said.

Manley started her career as a postmaster relief at the Brightwood post office in 1991. She worked every Saturday for eight years in this role until her promotion to postmaster.

Manley served as the postmaster in Welches for 17 years and added on the responsibilities of overseeing the Government Camp, Brightwood and Rhododendron offices eight years ago.

“I’ll miss seeing members of the community, my coworkers and seeing kids grow up,” Manley said about leaving her position. “You really get to be part of the community. I’ve even weighed a few babies.”

During her tenure Manley oversaw the centennial celebrations for three mountain post offices: Welches in 2005, Brightwood in 2010 and Rhododendron in 2020.

Manley’s 30-year career experienced many changes to the U.S. Postal Service. When she began in Brightwood in 1991 the office included a calculator, stamps, a telephone and no computer.

“The biggest change was automation: you hardly have to sort any mail these days,” Manley said. “And Amazon of course, Amazon trucks every morning.”

Manley plans to spend her new free time skiing, hiking, gardening and enjoying time with her family.

“My family is very happy I’m retiring,” said Manley.

The at times inclement weather on the mountain can make delivering the mail a challenge during severe storms. Manley recalled a particularly heavy storm that downed powerlines and blocked access to the Brightwood post office. Manley commandeered her family’s sleds to pull the mail from the office to waiting delivery vehicles.

Now she anticipates her visits to the post office will have a much more relaxed feel.

“The post office is such a focal point in the community. When people are picking up their mail they’ll stand around, talk and catch up with their neighbors,” Manley said. “Now when I’m picking up my mail, I’ll be able to visit.”

By Ben Simpson/MT

 

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