Effingham Daily News
Craig Wise worked for the Effingham Post Office for 44 years and four months.
Wise retired Friday with memories of a job that’s changed immensely since he started as a 22-year-old in 1968.
The career postal worker started out as a substitute clerk and mail carrier. For two years, he covered shifts for people who were sick or on vacation.
Eventually, Wise ended up working on the Highway Post Office, or HPO. Wise said there were large trucks with trailers, and the mail was sorted out in the back. He worked for the HPO before returning to the Effingham Post Office.
He came back to Effingham as a mail carrier at a time when the city had only six routes. He covered them all.
Wise became the distribution clerk in 1970. In 1974, he became the general clerk.
“That’s the general clerk’s job (that) evolved to where I am today,” said Wise.
Wise said technology has completely changed the way people get their mail. He recalled how he worked for the World Color Press in transportation. He worked to get magazines all over the country.
“I thought that was a very challenging and interesting job,” said Wise. “I really enjoyed that.”
Eventually though, the work done by World Color Press was shut down because of changes in the print industry.
Wise worked with the Effingham Daily News for years helping the paper get its mailing permits sorted out.
Still, he said with how prevalent the Internet is now, he feels it’s the right time to retire from the postal service because people do not use the mail as often as they once did.
“I’m gonna miss the employees I’ve worked with. I’m gonna miss the customers that came in and out every day,” said Wise. “That’s the primary things I’ll miss.”
When asked what he will do with all of his free time, Wise said, “I’ll be a better grandfather.”
He explained that he has grandchildren living in St. Louis, Colorado and California. The Tuesday after his retirement began, Wise honored those words by flying to Colorado to visit some of his grandchildren.
Wise also works with Illinois High School Association. He officiates baseball, basketball and football games. He said he’ll continue to officiate games. Wise also plans on officiating high school summer sports as well.
Ryan Ellis can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 138, or firstname.lastname@example.org