Stimpson applied for a mail carrier job with the postal service at the age of 21 and hasn’t left since.
“I wanted to carry mail because I would be outside and walk a lot during the day, which I thought I would like because I am very physical,” she said. “But they asked me to be a clerk instead, and now I am happy I am not a carrier.”
Stimpson moved around to different post offices in her hometown of Burbank. She couldn’t imagine leaving to work anywhere else.
“I love this town because every where I go, I know somebody,” she said. “So working at the post office, I get my people fix. I can talk and connect with people.”
Interacting with customers has been her favorite part of her job, something she was unable to find in other careers.
“I had a job for two weeks at the phone company in directory service, but they told me they didn’t think it was the right job for me,” Stimpson said. “Someone would ask for the number of a restaurant, and I would want to talk to them about what they thought of it, and my bosses wanted me to move through the calls quickly.”
Stimpson and her two co-workers, Barbara Faulkner and Ling Woon, treat the post office like a neighborhood store, she said.
“I came to mail some bills yesterday, but I came anyway today just to say goodbye to Sue,” said Burbank resident Pat Schneider, while standing in line at the office. “She is always so friendly and there is always a smile on her face.”
Stimpson decided to retire to help out her parents who are getting older.
But she has no plans to sit still.
Stimpson hopes to do volunteer work at a local animal shelter, the Police Department and the YMCA, she said.
She also wants to travel and take advantage of free classes offered at one of her favorite places, the Huntington Library in Pasadena.
“Thank God I knew I was going to volunteer a year ago because I have prepared myself and gone through all the emotions and done a lot of crying,” Stimpson said. “So I really feel good about it.”
However, her retirement is still not an easy thing for her customers to cope with.
“Most employees at the post office treat it like a grunge job, but Sue never has,” said local John Groening, who has known Stimpson for about 10 years. “She is optimistic and sincere and always leaves you with a good feeling.”