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Postmaster looks to put down roots in McCleary

Postmaster Bob McPherson feels as though he has found a home in McCleary.Buy Photo
Postmaster Bob McPherson feels as though he has found a home in McCleary.
Postmaster Bob McPherson empties the mailbox outside of the McCleary Post Office.Buy Photo
Postmaster Bob McPherson empties the mailbox outside of the McCleary Post Office.

Bob McPherson has worked many jobs in his life, but his favorite job is postmaster.

Throughout the week he gets the chance to interact with the entire community and now he will be interacting with the community of McCleary.

“The best part about working in the post office is you get an opportunity to meet so many members of the community,” McPherson said. “The community is a nice community and I have been welcomed here. I’m going to make my home here.”

McPherson took over the office of postmaster in McCleary on Oct. 1, 2013, but it was far from the first job he has held. Born in Elma, McPherson spent his younger years all across the United States.

“(My Father) went into the Navy and we went all across the United States,” McPherson said. “I had a brother born in Florida, a sister born in Hawaii. I’ve gone to school in Hawaii, California, Oregon, Washington, Louisiana and Colorado.”

McPherson graduated from college in the early 1980s with an agricultural degree and started working on a dry land wheat farm, but he became restless in the work. He held several other jobs including a position with a lumber manufacture and as a meat cutter before he started with the United States Post Office in 2000.

He has even worked at several different offices since he became a postmaster in 2007. McPherson has worked in Copalis Beach, Elma, Winthrop, Pullman and South Bend.

Now he hopes he has found a place where he can put down roots in McCleary. His predecessor Sherry Huff had been a part of the McCleary community for more than a decade. McPherson knows Huff created big shoes to fill as postmaster in McCleary, but he said the office is a good fit for him because of how much Huff cared about her work. “She has been here for years and has been a super active member of the community,” McPherson said. “I was very lucky to take over an office that she took pride in and the employees that were here when she left were well trained and courteous. They are good postal employees and they are good community ambassadors.”

Leif Robertson, who was the officer in charge during the time between when Huff retired and McPherson took over as postmaster said it has been a smooth transition between the two postmasters.

“He is by the book,” Robertson said of McPherson. “He does things the right way. He is nice to everybody.”

While McPherson said the McCleary office was left to him in good shape, he added that the job is not without challenges.

“The post office has changed more in the past three or four years than it has changed in the last 20 and it is going to change some more,” McPherson said. “People don’t use the mail like they once did. There is 25 percent less mail than there was four years ago.”

Electronic communication has driven business away from the USPS, McPherson said, yet he is excited to be able to communicate with those in the community face to face.

McPherson is already in the process of buying a home in McCleary to move from his current home in Westport and becoming a part of the community.

“Becoming a member of the community is important to me because I like people,” McPherson said. “That is the nice part of living in a community where you can connect with your neighbors. I want to put roots down here.”