Wallowa County Chieftain
Joseph postmaster Dennis Kolb is retiring from his position June 15 after 10 years in the position. The Minnesota native took the spot in 2007 after relocating from the Tacoma, Wash., area with his wife, Karyl.
The couple is retiring to Tuscon, Ariz., to be closer to specialty medical care and because they like the desert. They discovered the area while on vacation.
Kolb joined the U.S. Postal Service in 1978 and became a certified postmaster in 1993. He and his wife began visiting Wallowa County in the early ‘80s and fell in love with the area. “I knew this is where I wanted to end my career,” he said.
Kolb doesn’t regret the decision.
“The community welcomed us with open arms, and I had a great crew here,” he said.
The greatest changes Kolb experienced in his career were the rise of the use of the Internet and automation.
“Everything used to be done manually, but with the digital age, people stopped using 1st class mail to write to their friends and pay the bills,” he said. “We’ve made up for a lot of that, though, because we’ve really expanded our parcel service.”
Kolb said he and his wife don’t intend to stay cozied up in their new home after his retirement.
“We’re looking forward to traveling and experiencing what Arizona has to offer. Mainly, we’re going to travel,” he said.
The couple has fond memories of the Wallowa Valley and plan to return in August so Kolb can compete in the Dragon Boat races as well as perform with his classic rock band “Good Question.”
He and his wife will also return to Wallowa County to spend their summers. His favorite things and what he’ll miss about Wallowa County are his customers, his friends, his band, the quiet lifestyle and the Dragon Boat team.
“Joseph is the best place I’ve ever worked in the post office. I’ll miss it greatly,” he said.
In honor of Kolb’s retirement, the Joseph Post Office is hosting a cake and coffee gathering in the lobby 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, June 15.