Tamela Sherman was born in Marine City, Michigan. She grew up in a small town called Leroy, on the west side of the state near Lake Michigan. If her photo looks familiar to you, it’s probably because Tamela is the newest employee at the Boca Grande Post Office. She has worked there since July.
After working up north for the post office for 15 years, Tamela decided it was time for a change. She was living with her husband, Matt, son Damyn, and daughter Joslyn in Big Rapids, Mich., when she started to look for positions in southwest Florida. “After working in many different positions for the post office, I decided I didn’t want to work in the cold weather any longer,” she said.
They now live in Gardens of Gulf Cove. Both Tamela’s and Matt’s mothers live in Florida. “We came down here to be closer to our moms and get away from the winter,” she said.
She was the acting postmaster at her local office for four years, and when the postmaster returned to work, she went back to being a carrier. “When I returned to being a carrier, the first winter was the coldest one since 1978, and the next one wasn’t any better,” she said. “I did enjoy being a carrier though, because you are out there getting paid to get exercise every day. I had one route where I walked about 10 miles every day.” It only took a couple of months until she found the job vacancy in Boca Grande.
“It worked out well, because I have three stepsons, and the youngest one (Kylan) was graduating from high school in June, and we wanted to be able to see him graduate before moving down,” she said. “And we were glad to be near him during his senior year, because he plays football and is very active.” Kylan is currently attending Ferris State University. Her two other stepsons are Bryan and Tyler.
Tamela’s son, Damyn attends L.A. Ainger Middle School in Englewood, and her daughter, Joslyn attends Myakka River Elementary School. Both of them are adjusting to Florida very well,Tamela said. “They really like their new schools, and they are both doing very well,” she said. Joslyn plays soccer and softball, and Damyn plays baseball. “We haven’t signed them up on any teams yet, because we are still trying to get settled in and get a routine down,” she said. Tamela said although she is missing the fall weather up north, she certainly won’t miss the winters.
Matt is a supervisor for Sea Breeze Electric, a job he secured just days after relocating here. He oversees work done in Sarasota, Punta Gorda and Boca Grande. Tamela said she is really enjoying working at her new position in Boca Grande. “I like being in a small office, and everyone has been so friendly and nice,” she said. “There are only three of us who work there, and it’s pleasant because everybody knows everybody. I can’t remember everyone’s names yet, but I do remember all the box numbers.”
Tamela said that since her family has relocated here, they spend every weekend discovering different areas around Florida. “We love to go exploring,” she said. “Discovering new places and just taking a drive and seeing new things. We like to find little ‘mom and pop’ style restaurants, so we are always looking for those.” Tamela’s hobbies are reading and playing volleyball.
She attended Lake Michigan Community College on a volleyball scholarship and earned an Associate Degree in Business from Ferris State University. After college she worked with her stepdad at his ceramic tile business. “It was a good experience. It was neat to learn how to do it,” she said. She used that experience to learn the trade, and she and Matt tiled their house up north. “We remodeled the whole thing. We bought a ‘fixer-upper’ and we did all the tile work, put in new counters and new cupboards. It was a fun project,” she said. “Matt is an expert at electrical and plumbing work, so we enjoy fixing up houses as a hobby. It’s nice – if something is broken, he fixes it.”
Her mother worked at the post office, and that’s what sparked her interest in applying for a government job. She also enjoys scrapbooking and reading. Somehow it seems like I read a lot more when I was up north, because you are inside the house so much and you have to find things to occupy your time,” she said. Spending time with family is at the top of her list. “We do everything as a family. We include our kids in everything we do,” she said.
Tamela and Matt recently celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary in October. Matt surprised her with a special evening. He arranged for Tamela’s mother to watch the kids for the evening, and when she got home from work, he told her to get changed and ready for dinner. “We went on a boat ride in Punta Gorda and had dinner at Harpoon Harry’s on the water. I just thought we were going to take the kids out to dinner. It was a very nice surprise … a very nice evening out,” she said.
Tamara said she admires Matt for being such a good husband and father. “He’s a very good father and is doing a wonderful job raising our children. He is very loving. He tries to talk things out with them whenever they are dealing with a problem and help them understand how to resolve it,” she said. The two met more than 15 years ago when she was working at a convenience store. After Matt came in to make a purchase, he called the store, asked if she was the cashier, and then asked her out on a date. She accepted, and 15 years later, here they are, one big happy family.
Tamela and Matt are the proud grandparents of Mya, Bryan’s two-year-old daughter. “She’s so adorable,” Tamela said. “Her mother posts videos of her on Facebook, so we get to see how she changes and grows all the time. She recently posted a video of Mya saying happy birthday to Matt. “It was so cute to see that … it was just so sweet.”