Larry Dekker started work Monday as Port Townsend’s newest postmaster. Dekker applied for the position because of his love of the sea, which he can now see through his office window. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

Larry Dekker started work Monday as Port Townsend’s newest postmaster. Dekker applied for the position because of his love of the sea, which he can now see through his office window. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

New postmaster now on the job in Port Townsend

Eastern Washington native Larry Dekker was drawn to community’s proximity to the water.

PORT TOWNSEND — Larry Dekker is ready to enjoy a slower-paced life and the view of the sea from the postmaster’s office at the Port Townsend branch of the United States Postal Service.

Dekker, who began work as the branch’s postmaster Monday, has longed to be close to the sea and can now see it every day.

Originally from Eastern Washington, Dekker, 53, got his first taste of Port Townsend when he did route inspections at the branch for a week in 1997. Now, nearly 20 years later, he has the opportunity to run the branch.

“I look out the window here and I see what I love the most,” he said as he looked out over Port Townsend Bay.

Dekker replaced former Acting Postmaster Kathy Kent, who had taken the helm of the post office for 10 months.

Kent had been filling in as postmaster for Arthur “Butch” Marx, the former postmaster who had faced assault-related charges.

A judge dismissed the two felony charges and Marx was acquitted of two lesser charges during a December jury trial.

“We are in the process of terminating him in accordance with applicable labor laws,” said USPS spokesperson Ernie Swanson.

Though Dekker doesn’t yet have a house in Port Townsend, he and his wife do have a two-year plan. Until then, he’ll be commuting back to their home on the weekends.

During weekdays, Dekker plans to live aboard his 37.5-foot sailboat, named the Shelly Marie for his sister-in-law who passed away in September.

He said he is mooring the boat in Port Ludlow because there is a wait list in Port Townsend.

He got his first taste of living aboard his boat Sunday night when he woke up to another boat that had run aground at about midnight, he said.

“I spent an hour-and-a-half or so trying to help tie some lines so they didn’t capsize while waiting for high tide to come in,” he said. “It was kind of a sleepless night.”

He also discovered the challenge of ironing shirts in a boat that is rocking in the water.

He was previously the manager at the Bainbridge Island branch of the postal service and lived in West Seattle. He has been with the postal service for 28 years.

Now, he is enjoying getting out of Seattle, slowing down a little bit, and spending more time on the water.

“Most of my career has been spent operating at 60 plus miles per hour all the time,” he said.

“When I’m out on the water … it’s quiet. You get out of the rat race and let life actually happen.”

On his first day, Dekker could already tell that Port Townsend was a bit different than Bainbridge Island. He said it’s a more relaxed tempo that he is looking forward to.

During a customer appreciation event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at the post office, 1322 Washington St., the community will have a chance to meet Dekker and tour the post office.

The customer appreciation day includes refreshments, tours and postal-related literature.

“We’ll be giving tours of the facility and showing some stuff people don’t normally get to see,” he said.


Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5550, or at [email protected].

More in News

Sequim pilot and veteran David Woodcock stands near his 1944 Piper Cub L-4H, an aircraft that saw action at the Battle of the Bulge. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
Sequim pilot’s aircraft saw action in WW II

1944 Piper Cub L-4H a rare find

Pearl Harbor survivor and World War II Navy veteran David Russell, 101, reads a birthday card in Albany, Ore., while talking about his time aboard the USS Oklahoma and his life after the war. (Nathan Howard/The Associated Press)
101-year-old returns to Pearl Harbor to remember those lost

When Japanese bombs began falling on Pearl Harbor, U.S. Navy… Continue reading

Two additional deaths recorded in Clallam County

Long-term care facility outbreaks now over

Port Townsend transit plan draws criticism

Language to acknowledge the climate crisis to be added

History on display in flyover

Flight scheduled during Wreaths Across America

Port Angeles pizza eateries are on the move

Plus grocery reopening for West End

Sylvia Snell of Bremerton, No. 204, leads a pack of 5K and 10K runners in the rain to the finish line in Blyn at the Jamestown S’Klallam Glow run Saturday night. Snell ran in the 5K, along with Julie Dunlap, No. 201, at left. Kimberly DaArton, No. 500, ran in the 10K. (Run the Peninsula)
Head lamps light up path for Jamestown S’Klallam run

Women’s 10K race highlights last event in marathon series

Kenzie Bechtold and Emery Fletcher ride in a gingerbread float created by Melissa Hitzfeld, Sarah Fletcher and Erica Bechtold during the Forks Twinkle Lights Parade on Saturday on Forks Avenue. (Lonnie Archibald/for Peninsula Daily News)
Twinkle lights parade

By Lonnie Archibald For Peninsula Daily News Kenzie Bechtold and Emery Fletcher… Continue reading

Most Read