As of Tuesday, December 19, 2017
GRANGEVILLE Val Stone will make her final deliveries Dec. 23.
After 28 years with the United States Postal Service, Stone is hanging up her bag.
“I’m going to spend some time golfing while I still can,” she smiled.
The Phoenix native met Grangeville High School graduated Greg Stone in Arizona in the mid-1980s when she worked at a country club and he was on his way to becoming a golf pro. Once they married and she began work with the postal service in 1989, she soon put in a transfer to work at the Grangeville post office as a carrier.
“We wanted to raise our kids in a smaller town,” she explained. “And I thought the weather would be better — before I moved from Arizona I delivered mail in 120-plus degree weather.”
When she finally got the call for the Grangeville job in 1992, she wasn’t sure the weather was any better.
“I don’t think I spoke to Greg for three weeks,” she laughed. “’Oh, the winters aren’t bad,’ he said. I think that winter was one of the worst. Then last year — 2016 — was probably the longest.”
Stone has worked on foot and motorized routes and said she never had any desire to clerk in the office or move up to postmaster.
‘BAR’ party set for Stone
GRANGEVILLE – A party in honor of Val Stone’s 28 years with the United States Postal Service is set for Sunday, Dec. 31, 7 p.m. to midnight, at The Gallery.
“It’s a BAR party,” Stone explained.
Stone will be celebrating her 60th birthday, 30th wedding anniversary and her retirement – BAR.
“And it’s on New Year’s Eve! What could be better?”
Those attending the open house style get together will be treated to drinks, food, music and laughs.
To RSVP call The Gallery at 208-983-2595.
“I’ve enjoyed my job —- the work, the exercise, the people,” she said.
Stone said automation has changed her job the most and lessened the need for people. She also carries a handheld scanner, which is quite different from the way she started her career, she said.
“Now people can track where I am – where I’ve gone with their mail,” she smiled.
Throughout the years, Stone has met and made friends with a variety of customers.
“I like it when they stop and say ‘hi’ and are glad to see me,” she said, adding, “I have also gotten calls at home — ‘where’s my mail?’”
One customer who stands out in Stone’s mind is a Mrs. Murphy, who was in her 90s.
“I used to take my break at her house and read her mail to her,” she recalled.
The Stones raised their two children, Jeanna and Jesse, who both graduated from Grangeville High School, and have been involved in the community throughout the years. Greg is a member of the Lions Club while Val is a member of the Eagles Aerie 539. Jeanna will graduate next year as a nurse practitioner and Jesse co-owns a river guide business.
Stone said she will miss her customers and a “great staff” at the USPS.
Between now and Dec. 23, don’t expect her to have much time.
“It’s definitely our most busy time of the year,” she said, and delivery includes the drops to the USPS from UPS and Fed-Ex.
All those years of deliveries have not left Stone unscathed. She’s had a couple shoulder surgeries and a few slips on the ice.
“I know some people have seen that and had a good laugh,” she grinned. “Now, my knees are acting up a little, so Greg and I need to play golf now.”