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Longest-Serving GPO Employee Dies

By Ed O'Keefe

Virginia Saunders, 82, the Government Printing Office's longest-serving employee, died last Friday in her sleep, according to the agency. The 63-year agency veteran first arrived in the District to work for the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1945 and moved to the GPO one year later.

Saunders had responsibility for the Congressional Serial Set, compilation of all House and Senate documents and reports for each session of Congress.

"Virginia dedicated her life to federal service. Her devotion to GPO and our country was remarkable," Public Printer Bob Tapella said in a statement. "She touched so many lives, in so many ways. Virginia Saunders will be deeply missed by the GPO family. She was our rock."

Post columnist John Kelly profiled Saunders earlier this year, writing that she came to D.C. via rural Pennsylvania during World War II, one of the countless "government girls" that moved to the nation's capital to work while men were off at war.

She left her FBI job after one year to care for her mother and then returned to Washington. Initially unable to get another federal job, she first worked at the Kann's Department Store and eventually found a GPO post through a fellow church choir member.

The above video is a recent GPO-produced profile of Saunders.

Funeral services are scheduled for today in Beltsville, Md.

By Ed O'Keefe  | June 24, 2009; 10:48 AM ET
Categories:  Workplace Issues  
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