Marge Jessee, Beloved Post Office Supervisor, Retires


Mika Nobles

Marge in the post office. Photo by Mika Nobles.

Marge Jessee retired from her position as Post Office Supervisor last week in order to spend time with her daughter and two grandchildren, who live in Spokane. Marge has been a beloved member of the Whitman community for 18 years, not only as a friendly face behind the post office counter, but also as a scorekeeper for the men’s and women’s basketball teams and as a member of the Whitman Safety Committee.

Marge is happy to have the opportunity to care for her family, but her time at Whitman has been full of fond memories and close relationships.

“I think I have the best job on campus, because when [students] come to the post office, they’re always so excited to get their packages. I’m never a bearer of bad news. And it’s just been such a wonderful job,” Marge said.

Marge has seen big changes on campus. Some of them, such as the construction of Reid Campus Center, were big. Others seemed small, at least to Marge.

“A few years ago, they had the anthrax scare where they were worried that there [were] bad chemicals coming though letters in the mail, and a lot of people were wondering if they should handle the mail,” Marge said, “I never got too flustered by it all.”

Being in the mail room is never dull, according to Marge. Not only is there a constant stream of students getting or sending mail and packages, but every once in a while there are some odd deliveries.

“There’s always a few different things that come in the mail, that’re kind of intriguing. We’ve received rubber balls, just addressed [to a student]. We’ve received coconuts. The other day we got a banana. That was a first,” Marge said.

Marge will be replaced by Eddie DeLeon, who will be promoted from Campus Courier. DeLeon, whose family connections brought him to campus as a child, hopes to retire here. He is cautiously optimistic about what this new job will bring.

“I’m excited for the new responsibility and the opportunity to run the show down here, and try to do what Marge has done. It’s going to be quite the journey I think,” DeLeon said.

As much as DeLeon is excited to take on the challenge of running the Post Office, he is sad to see Marge go.

“She’s like my mom and she has helped me through my life…she has helped me with every little step that I’ve had to take,” DeLeon said. “She’s just a great friend and a great supervisor, but more importantly a great friend. And it really sucks that she’s leaving, but it’s good for her.”

Marge! Photo by Mika Nobles.
Marge! Photo by Mika Nobles.

This change will affect more than the inner workings of the Post Office, though. There has been an outpouring of love and support for Marge from members of Whitman’s staff and student body. Cards have been circulated and flowers have been sent. It’s safe to say that most students will miss Marge, but student workers in the Post Office will probably feel her loss most keenly.

Senior Erik Arndt had the opportunity to work closely with Marge for years, and he attests that she was an excellent supervisor and community member.

“I think the best part about working at the post office is the community that’s back there, just between the student workers [and Carla Rountree] and Marge and Sue [Washington], who left last year, and Eddie, who has worked here the whole time but is now in charge,” Arndt said. “I think that’s one of the best things about the post office, is just the community that exists behind the window.”

Marge will be back and forth between Walla Walla and Spokane for the next few months, stopping to watch basketball games and work at wineries for big events, but she has a few words for us as she gets ready to depart.

“I don’t really have an opportunity to say goodbye,” said Marge, “So I guess this is a great opportunity to say goodbye and thanks for all the memories. I’ll miss everybody and every part of Whitman.”