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After managing deliveries for more than 20 years, Pam Pettay received a special delivery last week.
On Thursday, the Magnolia native was spending her second to last day as postmaster of the Magnolia Post Office. She was set to retire at the end of the week.
Pettay's staff gathered for a small celebration which included a covered dish meal. She then received an award for 31 total years of service from Tim Kopcash of Niles.
"I can not believe at all how fast the time goes," Pettay said. "The older you get the faster it goes."
She started her work in 1985 as a mail processor in Canton before working in New Philadelphia for nine years.
In 1996, Pettay became postmaster in Sandyville. In July of 2012, she became postmaster in the town where she grew up.
"I'm a hometown girl," Pettay said. "I have a great staff I work with. I love my job, taking care of customers, working in the community, getting the mail and taking care of the office. I was always about taking care of my employees and taking care of my customers. Customer service and my employees was my number one. Getting the job done and getting it right."
Pettay has handled duties including clerk work, deliveries, loading trucks, delivering mail and managing finances and a budget.
"It's pretty much like owning your own business," she said. "You are responsible for the whole operation of the post office.
She added it is important for postmasters to "present yourself well within the community and get involved."
A lot has changed since Pettay started 20 years ago. She said scanning and computers weren't used. Operations were handled manually, and communication was done through the mail.
Communication is now done electronically meaning there is plenty to manage.
"You really have to be dedicated," Pettay said. "There are lots of reports. You're accountable for everything you do. With scanning now and computers everything is trackable so you want to do it right the first time."
First class mail used to be the money maker for post offices. Extensive use of email and paying bills online has contributed to changes. Pettay explained that it's now the packaging business that keeps post offices going. She noted it "has just grown astronomical."
Now that she has stepped away, Pettay will still serve as the fiscal officer in Sandy Township in Tuscarawas County. She also plans to help take care of her grandson and volunteer with her church and her community.
"I'll miss my employees, and I'll miss my work because its been my identity," Pettay said. "I've been a postmaster for over 20 years. I'll just venture onto a new future. I won't sit around."