Lineworker Mike Wise is celebrating 50 years with AEP – all at the Van Wert Service Center. We talked to him about why he loves AEP Ohio and what drives his dedication.

What brought you to AEP?

I started at the Van Wert service building right out of high school. I was 18. I worked at Balyeat’s Coffee Shop in high school and the Ohio Power Company area manager came and asked me to apply. I had never thought about working for AEP.

What was it like working at AEP in the ’70s?

Well the trucks have changed drastically. Back then we had one 55-foot bucket truck, one line truck and a service truck with a crank out ladder, with five guys on the line truck, two guys on the bucket truck and one guy on the ladder truck.  Nowadays just about everybody has their own truck.

What’s kept you at the company for so long?

I didn’t think I’d be here 50 years but I always knew I’d spend my entire career here. I’ve always felt secure. It’s steady work – you work smart, you work safe. It’s been challenging sometimes, being out in the weather. But that’s part of the fun of it. Especially during storm work when you’re out working with customers to get their lights back on.

How many more years will you be working?

I don’t know what the record at AEP is but in Van Wert I think it’s 55 years. We used to have an office manager who was 17 when she started and 72 when she retired. I’ve been telling people I’m trying to break her record.

Any retirement plans?

I’d like to travel. My wife and I (married 50 years in July), tour a different state each year.  We hope to visit all 50 states and I’d say we’ve seen about 40 now. Some states seem more interesting than others, but you don’t know until you actually visit them. Each state is different and each surprises you with what they have to offer. It’s just like the people you work with: everybody brings a little something different to the company – that’s what brings the whole thing together. That’s what makes AEP great.

Posted June 21, 2019

41 responses to “5 Questions with 50-Year Lineworker Mike Wise

    1. I just want to say Thank You to the Men and Woman, who come out during storms in the Summer and the Freezing Cold in the Winter. To fix the wires or what ever it is that needs fixed. No matter what time and type of weather. For us to get our electricity back. THANK YOU again and GOD BLESS YOU all ????❤❤

  1. Congratulations Mike! Van Wert was a long way to travel back when I was Facilities (Buildings) back then with Ohio Power! Lot of very nice people! And….if I remember, the Butter Beans were good! You may remember me, Doug Kemp. I took care of your buildings, new signs, etc..

      1. Reminds me of the song “Wichita lineman” by Glenn Campbell. Congrats to you on your past and to your future.

  2. Congratulations! You don’t know me, but wanted to say thank you for what you do. And congratulations on your wedding anniversary!!! Very cool. Stay safe out there!

  3. Congratulations Mike! Thank you for all you have done and continue to do! Stay safe out there. Congratulations on the upcoming wedding anniversary – exciting times ahead for you!

  4. Thank you for 50 years of your life, serving many communities in our great nation.

    I pray that your retirement is a happy blessed one with all your love ones by yourside.

    Enjoy your next chapter.

  5. Congratulations Mike. We appreciate your dedication to serving customers. Thank you
    Lynda Purmort

  6. Hi Mike, Congratulations on a nice long Career at AEP. I had no idea that you had been there that long. That is really awesome. My wife Teresa worked at the Ohio Power office on N Washington street when we first got married. You probably ran into her now and then. Anyways, congratulations and I hope you get to beat that ladies record as long you enjoy working. Take Care! Aaron Gardner

  7. Thank you, Mike, for your service! The work you do is very valuable to each of us. Here’s hoping you and everyone continues to stay safe! As long as you have your health, whatever you are doing, work or retirement, is a joy!

  8. Congratulations on your retirement may god bless you .Enjoy your retirement and may you enjoy everything you are going to do.what ever you do I’m sure you will do it well as you did for fifty years.

  9. Congratulations Mike. I had a few years on the Steubenville substation crew many years ago. I remember working outside in the winter . Thanks for all those years of service.

  10. Congratulations Mike. Fifty years is a long time especially with people like Rudi, Harvey,Louie and all the other VW dedicated employees.Best of luck with your future plans. Enjoy retirement it’s great!

  11. Congratulations Mike. You don’t know me but I have always been appreciative of the Line Workers that work hard to restore power come rain, storm, ice or snow. On occasion I have walked with them to help find the source of the short in our neighborhood.. I remember when once it was a fried Racoon. When the guy climbed up the ladder, he was facing a live one in the tree. These guys are always courteous and competent. Thank yo for your dedicated service and thank you AEP for always coming through.
    Wish you a wonderful retirement and a Happy 50th Anniversary. God Bless.

  12. Congratulations on both your length of time at AEP and your length of time being married to such a wonderful lady whom I have never met.

  13. Congrats from Portsmouth, Ohio. I appreciate all that your company does to keep us with electric, rain, or shine.

  14. Congratulations & thank you for your years of service. I am no longer an AEP customer (due to moving/location) but still enjoy the newsletter, especially for great stories such as this. I appreciate the service you & your company had provided me over the years. Take care, & enjoy your accomplishments & retirement!

  15. Wow Mike! That’s many successful years with the same company. Congratulations again and again. Happy you have been safe all these years. We remember that big house and Mrs. M’s poetry book, family and more. Recognized your photo before seeing your name. Enjoy your travels. God bless.
    Vic and Judy Lyon

  16. Congratulations on your work record. I only wished I could have worked at a company which appreciated my experiences like yours company does. Continued success. God speed.

  17. Thank you so much for your service. My husband retired from Westerville Electric Company. Many days he would just get home and be called back for an outage. The year of the Big Blizzard. Our daughters waited to open their Christmas presents, when he got home. They were young and I was very proud of them that they waited. He was out in that cold for two days. God Bless all of you!

  18. Congratulations. I have found that all of the AEP workers get out there and do the job to get power back on. A truly bunch of great people.

  19. Mike i retired three years ago at age 63 and after 46 years of working that was they best thing I ever done. Life is short enjoy the rest of it and your kids and grandkids if you have any! Money is just paper a smile on your face is free go do things you always wanted to but you was working live a little.May you have a wonderful retirement while you can still enjoy it.

  20. just like to add my thanks to all of you for keeping our lights on and wish you all good health friendships and loveing families god bless u all for your sacrifices and duties we all have a special place in our hearts 4 u all!!! thnk u so much stay safe!

  21. Congratulations on 50 years with AEP and your 50th wedding anniversary. My wife and I celebrated 44 years of marriage on July 10th. We are very thankful for you and your co-workers keeping the lights on. As with most things, we take electricity for granted until we don’t have it. We pray for all of you for your safety and well-being.
    (You look like a tough guy in your picture 😉 )

  22. Congrats Mike

    I’ve always admired an AEP crew when I see them working.
    They seem like they enjoy what they are doing
    And they always, always do a fine job.
    I know you are proud to be part of that family.

    Thanks again for what you do and have done

    Enjoy retirement and Happy Anniversary

    Kendall W

  23. Mike, congratulations on your 50 years with AEP AND your long-tenured marriage.
    Although I am now in the Upper Sandusky area, I appreciated the hundreds of electric line workers who came to Hancock County (where I used to live) when we had that horrible ice storm a few years ago. Altho we lived in the country on the Southmost end of the county, they had our incoming line reconnected to the house & our power restored within a couple of weeks. Given the magnitude of their jobs, all the work they got done was amazing!
    I really appreciate how ALL the companies work together when there’s a disaster like that storm.
    To all of you, KEEP UP THE EXCELLENT WORK! We appreciate all of you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *