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Rural carrier, age 80, to hang up mailbag

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Frances Higgs, a rural carrier who has delivered mail for the Superior, MT, Post Office for almost 40 years, will soon retire — at age 80.

Before joining USPS in 1978, Higgs worked in a pharmacy in Colorado and later owned a used car dealership and tire shop in Superior with her husband.

Her postal career began when a friend who lives in Superior told Higgs about an opening at the Post Office. Higgs filled out an application and was practically hired on the spot.

Four decades later, Higgs has seen it all.

“Every day is an experience. One day you might only see a half-tray of mail. The next might bring in four big trays. I don’t try to outguess it,” she said.

Higgs also has experienced her share of Montana’s wildlife, including moose, elk, deer, bears, red foxes, turkeys and coyotes.

She described her original Montana route as “humongous” but added, “I did it by myself every day.”

She joked that she has broken in 13 Postmasters during her career.

The current Postmaster, Liz Asay, is a 31-year USPS veteran who has worked with Higgs for the past decade. She called her “one of the best carriers I’ve seen. Even at 80 years old, she still shows up every day — in snow and ice. She never misses and has a great work ethic.”

Higgs’s last day will be June 30. She plans to “take a little time for myself and travel.” Her first trip will be to Colorado to visit her 85-year-old sister.

But Higgs will miss the job.

“I’ve been here a long time and I love all the people I deliver to,” she said. “I can’t say enough about this job. It’s the best I’ve ever had.”

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