GREENVILLE — Pearl Bartolo has been a familiar face at the United States Post Office in Greenville for more than 32 years.
Customers have until Friday to bid farewell to Bartolo, who is retiring as a sales and service retail associate.
“All the people and the camaraderie I’ve had with the customers that have come into the post office, that’s the thing I’m going to miss the most,” Bartolo said. “I’ve seen a lot of the kids grow up and they’re bringing their kids in now. It’s been a journey.”
Bartolo, 67, was born and raised in Greenville and graduated from Greenville High School in 1963. She traveled to Washington to try to make it big with her musical band, but she ended up living in Niagara Falls for a spell.
In 1978, she returned to her hometown and took a job at Gibson’s. She worked at Gibson’s just over a year before applying to and being hired at the Greenville Post Office in June 1980.
“I was looking for something that might be a little bit better than working in a factory my whole life,” she recalled.
Bartolo has seen many changes during her three-plus decades at the post office.
“We’ve gone from no computers to computers and from sorting all of the mail to just partially sorting the mail,” she noted.
Postmaster Kathy Hansen, who is on temporary assignment at the Rockford Post Office, has worked in the Greenville Post Office since 2006.
“Pearl’s knowledge and depth that she’s acquired over the years, it’s not something you can just give to someone in a manual and tell them to read it,” Hansen said. “That experience is just not replaceable overnight. Pearl will be deeply missed. She is never afraid to try something new or afraid of changes.
“She knows many of the customers, especially since she grew up there,” Hansen added. “She has those hometown connections. She has seen generations grow up.”
Phil Watkins, who is temporarily filling in as postmaster in Greenville, said customers sometimes specifically ask for Bartolo.
“She’s a very conscientious, hard worker,” Watkins said.
Bartolo plans to spend the first part of her retirement in Kentucky, helping her granddaughter who is soon to give birth to a baby. Bartolo is the mother of two sons and the grandmother of eight grandchildren and soon-to-be four great-grandchildren.
Bartolo plans to continue her hobbies of crocheting and knitting during retirement, as well as pursuing her interest in oil painting and visiting family in Arizona, California, North Carolina, South Carolina and Washington.