A Fond Farewell To Lee Bennett

The recent move of the Westport Post Office from the Post Road to Playhouse Square jarred many Westporters.

But we adapted. We’re survivors.

Much more traumatic will be the loss of Lee Bennett.

This Friday marks the last day here for the popular, ever-positive, always-helpful desk clerk. Next week she transfers to Bridgeport, much closer to her home in Stratford.

She’s served — and served with a smile — Westport for 26 years. She began her working life as an elementary school special education teacher in Stratford, but took the US Postal Service test, passed — and never regretted it.

Lee Bennett proudly displays her memory book.

“I love it! I love my job!” she said earlier this week. “The people — they’re my friends. Every day I get to express my feelings toward them.”

Lee expresses those feelings in a variety of languages. German, Swedish, Spanish, Danish — she’s learned how to say “hello” in all of them. “It makes them smile,” she explains. “And that makes me smile.”

Though she will miss working in Westport (“we rise to the challenge” is all she’ll say about the cramped Playhouse Square facility), she will not forget the many customers who love her.

They won’t let her forget them. For a couple of weeks, they’ve been signing a memory book for Lee.

The pages are filled with sentiments like “Thank you!” “Good luck!” And, of course, “Keep smiling!”

She points to several messages, written in Spanish and other languages.

“It’s not how many friends you can count — it’s how many you can count on,” she said.

For 26 years, Westporters have counted on Lee Bennett.

As our interview ended she opened her drawer, and gave me a candy.

“I do that for all my friends!” she said.

With a smile.

(The Bayview Post Office is at 115 Boston St., Bridgeport. Click here for information — and directions, so you can visit Lee there.)

14 responses to “A Fond Farewell To Lee Bennett

  1. Mark Mathias

    Congratulations to Lee for her service in Westport. Having visited the Post Office in Westport for many years, Lee and all of the people at the Post Office are great! They’re knowledgeable, friendly, helpful and greet my children every time. Lee, we will miss you, but I hope Bridgeport knows what a gem they’re receiving.

  2. signed her book yesterday…YES, she will be sorely missed! LEE always had a winning attitude, for sure! they’ll be lucky to have her at the new location…

  3. A well deserved tribute to a lovely lady. Lee, you will be missed by all of your friends here in Westport. Thank you for your many years of taking care of our postal needs and for your wonderful smile. Good luck to you in your new position.

  4. katherine hooper

    i am so upset the candy lady is leaving! i love service with a smile (and a piece of candy). stopping by on friday to say goodbye.

  5. Jamie Smith

    Lee; What can I say? Your going on another journey in your life and I’m so excited for you. I’m sure our paths will cross as they usually do. Good Luck and Best Wishes!

  6. The Dude Abides

    I love post-people. Some of nicest people I have ever met. I am not sure when the “going postal” stigma was promulgated but I have never seen it. The gals at Greens Farms are nicer than nice. And my long departed Joey Karmanosky, BFF, was the best of Westport since the 20’s.

  7. Jamie Walsh

    What a class act you are and how you will be sorely missed. Both Grayson and I send our best wishes and hope Bridgeport knows just how lucky they are to welcome you with open arms!

  8. Dianne Wildman

    Lee, Wow, 26 years of service to Westport! And how many pounds of candy? Your smiles and kindnesses always made the long waits in Post Office lines easier. Dan, thanks for your sweet tribute to this sweet lady.
    Dianne Wildman

  9. Loved reading about Lee in this column. She is a delightful person, and I am sure she will continue her excellent work in her new assignment. Of course Lee will be missed here in Westport. I hope that things don’t get too terrible for her as a postal worker. Lee and the people of the USPS who devote their lives to our service deserve the security they work for day after day. The USPS is curtting corners in ways that court disaster. This U.S. institution is necessary to U.S. survival as a unified people who all have mail delivery, no matter where they live. and and should be supported as such. I am not ;pershaded tbat the USPS should ever have been made just another enterprise without subsidies that guarantee mail delivery to all those within our shores.

  10. Linda Gramatky Smith

    This is a great story, Dan, and of course I’m going to stop by the P.O. tomorrow to say “goodbye” (for now) to Lee. She was the most upbeat, loving, capable person, and I often would let someone else go in front of me so I could say hi to Lee. She never offered me a candy … or perhaps she did one time and I said I can’t eat them, and she always remembered! She will be missed by so many of us!

  11. Lee is a special person. When I first met her at the Post Office many years ago I was quite frankly taken aback by her cheerful nature and friendly manner. She started to call me by name after a while which I just found to be amazingly nice. I don’t go to the Post Office that often and I was wondering, “why is this woman being so nice”? It took me a while to realize it’s because she is! In this very rich town we are going to be significantly poorer with out Lee Bennett! We’ll miss you Lee, may only good things come to you in your future endeavors!

  12. How many people in this world get to say they “love their job”? I would actually work for less and I don’t make that much. D

  13. Dan, thanks for posting this. I was able to get on the busy “thank you Lee line” at the Post Office today. As always, it was just a nice experience.

  14. Lee Bennett sent me a note, asking me to convey her thanks to everyone for their “special thoughts and the nice feelings it left me with.” She says, “I will continue to build more bridges than walls, and try to seek out those people or activities that inspire me. I thank everyone from the bottom of my heart.”