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home : news : news Friday, April 29, 2016

2/8/2014 Email this articlePrint this article 
Bob Winegar is the new postmaster for DeWitt. He resides in Maquoketa with Audrey, his wife of 34 years, and has two sons and four grandchildren. Winegar has spent 30 years in the postal profession and says he is thrilled to be working in a community like DeWitt. He says his plan simply is to keep things running smoothly at his new office and is thankful for having such a dedicated group of employees. Photo by Kate Howes
DeWitt Post Office welcomes Winegar as new postmaster

By Kate Howes
Staff writer

Bob Winegar has 30 years in the postal profession and says he is more than happy to be taking over the reigns as DeWitt's new postmaster.

The Maquoketa native has found the transition to be an easy one and credits the staff for making him feel welcome and comfortable.

"We've got a great bunch of people working here," Winegar relates. "The employees are extremely dedicated and for that, I'm very grateful."

His own career began as a carrier, a position he fulfilled for 16 years.

It was in the early 1980s and as a new husband and father facing the onset of the recession, Winegar was concerned about finding the best, most dependable way to support his family.

"I remember the postal carriers worked all through the depression," he notes. "They always had a job. (The post office) was a place I could be secure and it seemed like a respectable job."

Winegar was hired and was happy he was able to be a carrier right in his hometown of Maquoketa.

After 16 years, he decided to "take the plunge" into management and worked as a carrier supervisor in Davenport for about six years. Then, in an effort to diversify his skills, Winegar explains, he went to work in Dubuque as a retail supervisor for seven years.

In 2006, his country came calling and as a National Guard soldier, Winegar took a year off from his career to serve in Iraq. As soon as he returned home, Winegar was hired as a carrier supervisor in Bettendorf.

"Then I applied (in DeWitt) and they said yes and I asked, 'Are you sure?'" he quips. "I was thrilled."

Winegar says over the course of three decades, the postal service has become far more revolutionized. He has seen things become more efficient and cost-effective.

"Things have changed so much," he relates. "Almost every parcel has a scan on it now. People want to be able to track their packages and know where they are and when they're arriving. There's a smaller, more versatile work force now. There are part-time people working in various locations. Carriers who are looking for hours are going to different towns and cities.

"The Internet has played a big part as well. People can purchase postage on-line and E-Bay is all over the world. Sorting mail by hand definitely is a thing of the past. Now everything goes screaming through a machine."

In regard to post offices cutting back to 4-6 hours a day and small communities even having to close their offices, Winegar hopes to keep things in DeWitt on track.

"We really want to keep post offices open," he remarks. "People love their post offices. I want to see that continue and not have to close any more small-town offices."

Regardless of what the future may hold, Winegar wants simply to stay right where he is and continue with a career that has allowed him not only to take care of his family, but also take pride in his work.

"(The postal profession) has been good to me," Winegar relates. "It's a respectable place to be and I'm proud to be an employee. I'm right where I want to be, and I want to sustain what DeWitt has here. It's a great office, a beautiful facility and the employees are so committed. You can't ask for more than that."

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