The Voice of the Community Since 1909, Serving Moorcroft and Pine Haven, Wyoming

New postmaster returns home

With the loss of Moorcroft postmaster Kim Watson, long time local resident Ann Shutt is moving from the Rozet post office back home, to Moorcroft.

After starting her career in Upton as a part-time flex employee and working there for five years, Shutt transferred to Gillette and worked there part time until 2000, when the postmaster position opened in Beulah, WY.

"I loved it, it was fun and I was grateful to be there," she says.

"I did that for a year and the Moorcroft Post office came open," the 35-year veteran continues. "The postmaster who was there prior, Ray Murez, retired. I applied and I got it. That was when I came to Moorcroft post office, in 2001. I worked there until 2011."

Shutt left Moorcroft in 2011 to accept the position of acting (interim) postmaster in Gillette and accepted the job as the full-time postmaster in 2012. "I did that because that was always my goal – just to do everything I could do with the post office and Gillette was going to be as big as I could get and still be able to be around my family."

She admits to missing her hometown people, "But I loved the challenge of being in Gillette. I had been a clerk there in the 90s and I thought, 'I can do this. I would love to be here' so I did it." Shutt managed that facility for eight years.

In 2018, long-time Rozet postmaster Bruce Redfield died and Shutt was ready to get closer to home again.

"My husband and I talked about it and at that time the kids were out of high school and the grandkids were coming along and I wanted to be closer to home," she says. "So, I applied for the job. I actually asked for a downgrade, which is doable in the postal service."

Over the years, she and Moorcroft postmaster Kim Watson spoke about Watson's retirement – "If she retired, would I consider Moorcroft again and I would consider Moorcroft again."

Watson's unexpected death hit Shutt hard, but she remembered their conversations.

"It was heart breaking, honestly. I did not expect that. I also knew that I would most likely request to go back to Moorcroft had she retired so that's what I decided to do. I talked to my boss and he said if that's what you want to do," she says.

"I want to be just that much closer to my family. I live just outside of Moorcroft. My husband and I have lived on Bertha Road for almost 20 years. I've got granddaughters in the Moorcroft school and my son and daughter-in-law actually own CDS Supplies, along with the family; my son, Dana's dad, owns Ron's pumping, next door. Me going back home as postmaster is basically me just going back home."

This is a "lateral shift" for Shutt as the postal agency considers the Moorcroft and Rozet offices the same size.

"I don't believe that I will shift again, you can never say never, but do I have any intention of shifting again? I do not," she says.

"I am eligible to retire within 12 months, but I don't have any intention of doing that at this time. I do plan to go back to Moorcroft and spend time there, though. I don't have any intentions of going anywhere soon."

Shutt says she loves her job, "There are a lot of changes, but in the end, we deliver mail every day, six days a week."

With that said, though, she is open to interim work if her boss requests such assistance, she has covered many offices over the years when asked, including Gillette, Lander, Buffalo, Newcastle, "[But] I anticipate retiring out of the Moorcroft Post Office. I think it will be my final permanent stop."

Current Moorcroft postal employees Jennifer Cranston and Sandra Meek worked in the local office the decade Shutt spent in this office in the early 2000s, Meek having been in the office when Shutt arrived and Cranston had gone to school with the to-be-postmaster in town.

Many people may not be aware that Ann Shutt grew up in Moorcroft as Ann Smith, living with her father on the corner of South Yellowstone and Converse. She was born an Army brat in Germany; when her parents and sister returned to the states, the family eventually separated and the sisters finally moved in with their father, in Moorcroft.

She reminisces fondly the Texico station across the street, saying, "I can remember getting bottles of pop from their cooler when I was a little girl."

As yet, the postmaster still covers both offices, but anticipates being completely moved in to the Moorcroft Post Office by May 1. She already has plans to increase parcel boxes to ensure people can get their packages any time as well as a couple other adjustments.

"I will do everything I can," Moorcroft's postmaster assures residents, "To make sure you get the service you deserve because I am here to provide it."

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