Journeyman Lineman Jeff Houser had a mission from day one on the job at Noble REMC.
“My goal has been to teach them [apprentice linemen] everything I know. I don’t claim to know it all by any means, but I do know a lot,” Houser said. “I said, ‘I want you to be better than I’ve ever been.’”
His hope was to leave the next generation of lineworkers better than his was, and after nearly two decades at the co-op, now he can retire happy, knowing he’s done his best to accomplish his goal.
Houser retired in July with 40 years of experience in line work, coming to the co-op with 20 years under his belt at two other local municipal utilities.
Though the electric industry wasn’t his first choice, when he found himself down to two days of work a week with a wife at home to take care of, he took an opportunity in South Whitley to be on the line crew.
From there, he went to work at Auburn before settling here at Noble REMC.
“I’ve really learned a tremendous amount since I’ve been here, as far as different ways to do things,” Houser said. “Of course, it’s like any place you work at. There are guys you really enjoy working with, and that part, I’m going to miss.”
But he wants to spend more time with his wife of 41 years, Amy, as well as his two children and three grandchildren.
There may not be much scheduled on the calendar quite yet, but Houser plans to do some traveling with Amy, driving around the country and revisiting some of their favorite places.
He also does woodworking in his spare time — a hobby he learned from his father-in-law — which has evolved from trim and home interior to now furniture and whatever new idea comes to Amy’s imagination.
“There’s nothing really spectacular planned — just enjoy life,” Houser said. “We’ve got plenty of interests and things we’d like to do.”
Houser’s looking forward to the next chapter of his life, but he’s also grateful for what he was given in his career, as well as what he’s given back.
“I’m really thankful for the opportunity and the time I’ve been able to spend here and work here,” Houser said. “I’d like to think I’ve made a positive change here, too.”