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October/November Obituaries

AEP Service Corporation

Jorge Decastro-Palomino, 89, retired, Rockefeller Center, died Oct. 25.

Wilbur Moser, 88, retired, John E. Dolan Lab, died Nov. 3.

Marianna Muller, 103, retired, Rockefeller Center, died Oct. 27.

Louis Vanslyck, 82, retired, AEP Headquarters, died Oct. 15.

Appalachian Power

Franklin Coon, 67, retired, Conesville Plant, died Oct. 14.

Thomas Cox, 60, Kanawha River Plant, died Nov. 11.

Oscar Fowler Jr., 87, retired, Huntington Office, died Oct. 23.

Brian Halstead, 54, Mountaineer Plant, died Nov. 23.

Clarence Jones, 87, retired, Amos Plant, died Nov. 17.

John Moore, 72, retired, Abingdon Service Center, died Oct. 15.

John Orr, 90, retired, Abingdon Service Center, died Nov. 5.

Freddy Sisk, 60, Amos Plant, died Oct. 14.

Richard Wingate, 66, Woodlawn Service Center, died Oct. 11.

Columbus Southern Power

Daniel Conway, 62, retired, Athens Service Center, died Oct. 25.

Gary Jones, 59, 825 Tech Center Building, died Oct. 30.

Roy Pierce, 61, retired, Athens Service Center, died Oct. 29.

Frank Sugar Jr., 87, retired, 850 Tech Center Building, died Oct. 31.

Indiana Michigan Power

Vernon Eck, 83, retired, South Bend Service Center, died Nov. 5.

Phillip Ferencak, 76, retired, Tanners Creek Plant, died Nov. 22.

Joan Harsh, 73, retired, Cook Nuclear Plant, died Nov. 10.

James Martin, 79, retired, Spy Run Service Center, died Nov. 7.

William Pokorny, 81, retired, One Summit Square, died Oct. 12.

John Vanmeter, 72, Rockport Plant, died Nov. 2.

William Willer, 75, retired, Three Rivers Service Center, died Nov. 14.

Kentucky Power

Michael Spencer, 55, Kammer Plant, died Nov. 3.

Ohio Power

George Bailey Jr., 72, Cardinal Plant, died Nov. 20.

Max Cooley, 91, retired, Canton Eastern Regional Office, died Oct. 20.

George Johnson, 65, Gavin Plant, died Nov. 20.

Ned Lewton, 73, retired, Canton South Service Center, died Oct. 29.

Janet Loar, 89, retired, Canton Eastern Regional Office, died Nov. 7.

Thomas Miller, 75 retired, Upper Sandusky Service Center, died Oct. 16.

Nacoleon Torrence, 85, retired, Canton Eastern Regional Office, died Oct. 27.

Donald Wilhelm, 97, retired, Canton Eastern Regional Office, died Nov. 6.

Public Service Company of Oklahoma

Joann Belusko, 84, retired, Tulsa General Office, died Oct. 24.

Pat Hamilton, 75, retired, Tulsa General Office, died Oct. 23.

John Lee, 77, retired, Tulsa General Office, died Oct. 13.

Joe Lowman, 86, retired, Tulsa General Office, died Nov. 6.

Lawrence Priest, 84, retired, Tulsa General Office, died Nov. 6.

Southwestern Electric Power

Nealy Surratt, 74, retired, Shreveport General Office, died Oct. 24.

Texas Central

Walter Alexander, 84, retired, Corpus Christi Office, died Nov. 6.

Charles Burleson, 82, retired, Corpus Christi Office, died Nov. 16.

Martin Contreras, 64, Pharr North Service Center, died Oct. 18.

Blas Heredia, 82, retired, Corpus Christi Office, died Nov. 5.

Jose Moreno, 67, Harlingen Service Center, died Nov. 5.

Evelyn Pittman, 78, retired, Corpus Christi Office, died Oct. 24.

Milam Von Roeder, 80, retired, Corpus Christi Office, died Oct. 27.

Robert Williamson, 69, Coleto Creek Power Station, died Oct. 24.

Texas North

Donald Bell, 85, retired, Abilene General Office, died Nov. 11.

April Garcia, 55, retired, Abilene General Office, died Oct. 15.

 

October/November Retirements

AEP Service Corporation

Barbara Donahue, Canton Eastern Regional Office, retired Nov. 7 after 26 years of service.

Leroy Griffin, Arena Building, retired Oct. 4 after 31 years of service.

Bruce Roberts, Texarkana Operations, retired Nov. 5 after 13 years of service.

Elizabeth Strange, Shreveport General Office, retired Nov. 21 after 31 years of service.

AEP Ohio

Wilbur Butler, Columbus Northwest Service Center, retired Nov. 1 after 34 years of service.

James Charles, Columbus Underground Line, retired Oct. 18 after 24 years of service.

Willie Spivey, Newark Service Building, retired Oct. 1 after 23 years of service.

Appalachian Power

Howard Manns, Fieldale Office, retired Oct. 5 after 42 years of service.

Steven Patton, Milton Service Center, retired Oct. 1 after 35 years of service.

Generation

Robert Copeland, Northeastern Station 3&4, retired Oct. 9 after 35 years of service.

Michael Dearien, Amos Plant, retired Oct. 21 after 10 years of service.

Freddie Elswick II, Amos Plant, retired Oct. 25 after 41 years of service.

Andy Fisher, Gavin Plant, retired Oct. 1 after 30 years of service.

James Jeffers, Gavin Plant, retired Nov. 1 after 34 years of service.

Joel King, Oklaunion Plant, retired Nov. 1 after 32 years of service.

Clarence Lovejoy, Amos Plant, retired Oct. 15 after 40 years of service.

Patty Loy, Mitchell Plant, retired Nov. 1 after 38 years of service.

Arnold Marcum, Mountaineer Plant, retired Nov. 26 after 34 years of service.

Johnny Meredith, Rockport Plant, retired Nov. 1 after 31 years of service.

Timothy Riba, Mitchell Plant, retired Nov. 1 after 36 years of service.

Jay Scudder, Tanners Creek Plant, retired Oct. 27 after 37 years of service.

Greg Stiltner, Cook Coal Terminal, retired Oct. 2 after 30 years of service.

Nathan Yonker, Gavin Plant, retired Nov. 1 after 40 years of service.

Indiana Michigan Power

Mark Acree, Muncie Service Center, retired Oct. 31 after 28 years of service.

Cliff Polubinsky, One Summit Square, retired Nov. 1 after 25 years of service.

Jordan Yarde, One Summit Square, retired Nov. 1 after 18 years of service.

Kingsport Power

Fred Rutherford, Kingsport Service Center, retired Nov. 8 after 35 years of service.

Public Service Company of Oklahoma

Howard Ground, Oklahoma City State Affairs, retired Nov. 22 after 33 years of service.

Forrest Welch, Mid Metro Office, retired Oct. 28 after 29 years of service.

Southwestern Electric Power

J.R. Brown, Shreveport Operations, retired Oct. 16 after 36 years of service.

Fred Peeples, Natchitoches Service Center, retired Oct. 8 after 20 years of service.

Texas North

James Winnett, Vernon Office, retired Oct. 17 after 33 years of service.

Transmission

Jimmy Gordon, Texarkana Operations, retired Nov. 30 after 40 years of service.

Deborah Hall, Robert E. Matthews Service Center, retired Nov. 3 after 23 years of service.

Robert Mills, Texarkana Operations, retired Nov. 30 after 39 years of service.

 

Rockport Plant celebrates 30th anniversary

Indiana Michigan Power Company's Rockport Plant Unit 1 in Rockport, Ind., was placed in operation Dec. 10, 1984.

Indiana Michigan Power Company’s Rockport Plant Unit 1 in Rockport, Ind., was placed in operation Dec. 10, 1984.

(Story by Erica Putt)

Thirty years ago — Dec. 10, 1984 — Indiana Michigan Power Company’s Rockport Unit 1 became operational. At that time, Rockport made its contribution to the advancement of electricity generation technology with the first installation of temporary turbine fast valving controls for both control and intercept valves.

Rockport Plant employees and retirees gathered in September to take advantage of the beautiful autumn weather for an early anniversary celebration.

“A common theme during discussions over lunch were: ‘Has it really been 30 years?’ – followed very quickly by, ‘But we don’t look any older, right?'” said Judy Butcher, Rockport Plant administrator.

A second unit was added to the plant in 1989 and today each unit produces 1,300 megawatts of power — 2,600 megawatts total.

The Rockport site, located some distance outside of the AEP service territory, was selected because of its special suitability with respect to water supply, the receipt of coal via river barge and the relative ease of integrating the plant into the AEP System’s existing extra-high-voltage transmission network.

Over 230 employees and contractors work at Rockport and that number has swelled to over 680 with the installation of dry sorbent injection (DSI) technology which is used to reduce sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions.

“Rockport has been a backbone to providing our customers with reliable electricity. I am very thankful for every employee and contractor who has worked at the plant over the last 30 years. Your dedication to keeping the lights on is apparent each and every day,” said Paul Chodak, Indiana Michigan Power president and chief operating officer.

Congratulations, Rockport!

Akins named to Executive Committee of Business Roundtable

Nick Akins, AEP chairman, president and chief executive officer, was named to the Executive Committee of the Business Roundtable (BRT) and was appointed chair of the Energy and Environment Committee. Akins will continue to participate on other BRT committees focusing on cybersecurity and regulatory reform.

Nick Akins

Nick Akins

President Obama spoke at the BRT quarterly meeting in Washington, D.C., Dec. 3 about a variety of business and economic issues. During the meeting, Akins had the opportunity to ask the president about the slew of regulations facing the electric utility industry and other businesses.

Established in 1972, the BRT is an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies working to promote policies to improve U.S. competitiveness, strengthen the economy and spur job creation.

Energy efficiency tips to prepare your home for winter

(Story by Fay White)

Is your home ready for winter?

Brrr…

Winter is around the corner, which means colder weather is on its way. Staying warm is a top priority, but can you save money while doing it?

Aside from snuggling under blankets or drinking hot chocolate, here are a few tips on how to prepare your home for wintry weather while putting more money back into your bank account.

Using a draft snake -- or dog -- can help you prevent cold air from blowing into your home.

Using a draft snake — or dog — can help you prevent cold air from blowing into your home.

Remove drafts

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, drafts can waste 5 to 30 percent of your energy use. But how do you prevent the cold air from blowing in your home?

  • Use a draft snake stopper (or dog). (See photo.)
  • Caulk around windows and doors if the gap is bigger than the width of a nickel.
  • Install storm doors and windows. This can increase efficiency by 45 percent. If you purchase energy efficient doors, windows and skylights, you can also qualify for a federal tax credit covering 30 percent of the cost, up to $1,500.

Thermostat 101

Turn down the heat when you leave your house. Every degree you lower the thermostat can save one to three percent on your bill.

Purchasing a programmable thermostat will help keep tabs on temperature. They are available for $50, but can save the average family $180 per year.

Reverse your ceiling fan

This can cut heating costs by as much as 10 percent.

That’s right, your fan doesn’t just keep you cold. Run the fan in a clockwise direction creating an upward draft and pushing hot air down.

Change furnace filters

This should be done once per month during heating season.

Buy filters in bulk and store them near the furnace. This will reduce the cost of each filter, and serve as a constant reminder to change your filter each month.

Consider switching to LEDs for your holiday lighting

  • LED lights use 75 percent less energy helping you to save on your electric bill.
  • LED holiday lights last 25 times longer.
  • LED lights are safer because they generate less heat.

Other quick tips include using your fireplace more, tuning up your heating system, cleaning your gutters and assessing your roof for missing shingles.

Also, now is the perfect time to take an extra step and conduct an online energy check-up. This will help you save on both money and energy during the holiday and winter seasons!

For more ways to save, check out the in-home energy assessment and AEPOhio.com/WasteLess.

Don’t forget to share this information with family and friends!

AEP files comments on EPA’s Clean Power Plan

(Story by Tammy Ridout)

AEP Dec. 1 filed 400 pages of comments and documentation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on its proposed Clean Power Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

AEP's comments address the critical need for a thorough assessment of the Clean Power Plan's impact on electric grid reliability.

AEP’s comments address the critical need for a thorough assessment of the Clean Power Plan’s impact on electric grid reliability.

AEP’s comments focus on the significant flaws in assumptions and data the EPA used to develop the four building blocks of the proposed rule. The comments address the critical need for a thorough assessment of the rule’s impact on electric grid reliability. AEP’s comments also discuss the need for states to have enough time and flexibility to develop and implement emission reduction plans that make sense for their resource mix and economies, and the need to maintain a balanced, diverse mix of fuels for electricity generation in the United States.

In the comments, AEP calls for a less prescriptive rule with more realistic targets and timelines. AEP believes the EPA must give states additional time to develop compliance plans, eliminate the 2020 interim goals, and allow enough time to build the transmission lines, pipelines and new generation facilities needed to maintain the reliability of the grid.

“I’d like to thank our team of talented employees who came together for the past six months to share their expertise and help review and analyze this complicated proposal to develop our comments and suggested changes to the rule,” said Nick Akins, AEP chairman, president and chief executive officer. The EPA is expected to issue its final rule in June 2015, and AEP will continue to be engaged in the process, Akins said.

“A big thank you also goes out to the 5,200 employees, contractors, retirees, shareholders, suppliers, customers and other stakeholders who answered the call and submitted comments to the EPA and members of Congress on the proposed rule. Your engagement and support makes a huge difference in our efforts to help the EPA and lawmakers understand the impacts of this proposal,” Akins said.

“We stand ready to work with the states, the administration, Congress and our customers to develop a common-sense approach to further reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, while maintaining reliable, affordable electricity to fuel the U.S. economy,” Akins said.

Avoid online shopping season scams

Don't let phishing scams and malware attempts ruin your online shopping experience.

Don’t let phishing scams and malware attempts ruin your online shopping experience.

The holiday shopping season is upon us and consumers are being bombarded with ads for discounted merchandise, free shipping and other special deals.

Online sales are expected to be significant again this year.

How can you maximize your transaction security? If the offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t get blindsided by the lure of great discounts – the security of your information is what’s most important. If you aren’t prepared and cautious, you could become the next cyber crime victim, the cost of which could far exceed any savings you might have received from the retailer.

When purchasing online this holiday season—and all year long—keep these tips in mind to help minimize your risk:

  • Secure your mobile device and computer. Be sure to keep the operating system and application software updated/patched on all of your computers and mobile devices. Be sure to check that your anti-virus/anti-spyware software is running and receiving automatic updates. Confirm that your firewall is enabled.
  • Use passwords. It’s one of the simplest and most important steps to take in securing your devices, computers and accounts. If you need to create an account with the merchant, be sure to use a strong password. Always use more than 10 characters, with numbers, special characters, and upper and lower case letters. Use a unique password for every unique site.
  • Do not use public computers or public wireless for your online shopping. Public computers may contain malicious software that steals your credit card information when you place your order. Additionally, criminals may be intercepting traffic on public wireless networks to steal credit card numbers and other confidential information.
  • Pay by credit card, not debit card. A safer way to shop on the Internet is to pay with a credit card rather than debit card. Debit cards do not have the same consumer protections as credit cards. Credit cards are protected by the Fair Credit Billing Act and may limit your liability if your information was used improperly. Check your statements regularly.
  • Know your online shopping merchants. Limit your online shopping to merchants you know and trust. If you have questions about a merchant, check with the Better Business Bureau or the Federal Trade Commission. Confirm the online seller’s physical address, where available, and phone number in case you have questions or problems.
  • Look for “https” when making an online purchase. The “s” in “https” stands for “secure” and indicates that communication with the webpage is encrypted.
  • Do not respond to pop-ups. When a window pops up promising you cash or gift cards for answering a question or taking a survey, close it by pressing Control + F4 for Windows and Command + W for Macs.
  • Do not click on links or open attachments in emails from financial institutions/vendors. Be cautious about all emails you receive even those from legitiatmate organizaitons, including your favorite retailers. The emails could be spoofed and contain malware. Instead, contact the source directly.
  • Do not auto-save your personal information. When purchasing online, you may be given the option to save your personal information online for future use. Consider if the convenience is really worth the risk. The convenience of not having to reenter the information is insignificant compared to the significant amount of time you’ll spend trying to repair the loss of your stolen personal information.
  • Use common sense to avoid scams. Don’t ever give your financial information or personal information via email or text. Information on many current scams can be found on the website of the Internet Crime Complaint Center: http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx.
  • Review privacy policies. Review the privacy policy for the website/merchant you are visiting. Know what information the merchant is collecting about you, how it will be stored, how it will be used, and if it will be shared with others.

What to do if you encounter problems with an online shopping site?

Contact the seller or the site operator directly to resolve any issues. You may also contact the following:

Your State Attorney General’s Office – www.naag.org/current-attorneys-general.php
Your State Consumer Agency – www.usa.gov/directory/stateconsumer/index.shtml
The Better Business Bureau – www.bbb.org
The Federal Trade Commission – www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov

(Reprinted with permission from the Multi-State Information and Sharing Analysis Center.)

 

 

Read to Me Day celebrates a record year

Jim Cook, director of transmission region construction for AEP, reads to students at Breckinridge Elementary School in Fincastle, Va.

Jim Cook, director of transmission region construction for AEP, reads to students at Breckinridge Elementary School in Fincastle, Va.

(Story by Teresa Hall)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Appalachian Power and American Electric Power employees and retirees made a difference last week in the lives of thousands of schoolchildren across West Virginia, Virginia and Tennessee. This year’s company sponsored Read to Me Day program reached a record number of schools across the company’s footprint providing the best opportunity yet to instill a love of reading in children.

More than 300 employees and retirees in the company’s three-state service territory read aloud to nearly 445 elementary schools Nov. 20 as part of the program. Employees and retirees read “When Charlie McButton Lost Power,” written by Suzanne Collins, author of the Hunger Games series. While at the school, readers visited two or more classrooms at each school, and then donated the book to the school’s library.

“This was truly an outstanding year for our Read to Me Day program,” said Allison Barker, Read to Me Day coordinator. “We couldn’t be more pleased with the feedback we’ve received from teachers and students as well as our own employees and retirees.”

Barry Mosser, a national account manager for AEP, read to students at Ceredo and Kenova elementary schools in West Virginia, and described the experience as awesome. “It was a pleasure for me to represent AEP/APCo in this worthwhile endeavor,” he said.

Barker and Jeri Matheney, director of corporate communications, also received feedback from librarians and teachers, including Samantha Asbury, a second grade teacher at Alum Creek Elementary School in West Virginia. “My class would like to send a thank you message to Staci Tighe for reading to us this morning,” wrote Asbury. “We really enjoyed her visit.”

School librarian Marcy Wohlford wrote, “Your employee Jim Cook did a great job reading to the second graders at Breckinridge Elementary in Fincastle, Va. He always does a super job here, and we look forward to his annual visit.”

Appalachian Power and Barker also received praise from employees like Jason Hill and Deb Osborne, who both commented on the company’s Facebook page. “They liked the book but what really surprised me were the questions that they asked,” Hill wrote. “These kids today are really thinking way above their age.”

Osborne wrote, “Thanks for organizing and supporting this. I read to four classes of amazing kids at Evans and Cottageville Elementary and they loved the book!”

The company began its Read to Me Day program in West Virginia in 2001, and expanded to Virginia and Tennessee two years ago. Since that first day in 2001, Appalachian Power has donated nearly 5,000 books to school libraries and read aloud to nearly 200,000 students.

“Our Read to Me Day school partnership is a great way for our employees to be involved in communities where they live and work,” Barker said. “It’s also an opportunity for us to emphasize the important role that reading plays in education and careers.”

Oglebay mini-vacation contest under way

(Story by Carmen Prati-Miller)

For 20 years, Joan and Lee Kelvington, retired Ohio Power T&D director, have sponsored the annual Oglebay Park mini-vacation contest. Yes, you read that right — the contest is in its 20th year!

Winners have come from far and near the Wheeling, W. Va., resort and conference center and enjoyed the getaway all because of Oglebay is home to the Winter Festival of Lights, which ranks as one of America’s largest holiday light shows.

Oglebay is home to the Winter Festival of Lights, which ranks as one of America’s largest holiday light shows.

Oglebay is home to the Winter Festival of Lights, which ranks as one of America’s largest holiday light shows.

“Joan and I have many fond memories of Oglebay,” said Kelvington. “Sponsoring the mini-vacation for our AEP family is an awesome experience, and we look forward to meeting the lucky winner each year.”

Oglebay Resort and Conference Center is a wonderful escape from day-to-day activities. It encompasses 1,700 acres of abundant recreational countryside nestled in the hills of Wheeling, W. Va. Among the activities available to visitors are championship golf courses, miles of paved walking/jogging trails, computerized light and sound shows of cascading waters, seasonal gardens, museums, shopping, a zoo and planetarium, a hands-on Discovery Lab, a state-of-the-art environmental center, a fabulous day spa and, of course, the Winter Festival of Lights which  ranks among America’s largest holiday light shows. It is part of a six-mile car tour and is one of Oglebay’s most popular attractions. Other exciting events that draw thousands of visitors are the always-popular Octoberfest, Easter treasure hunt for children, spring flower show plus an annual antique show. For more information about the park, visit Oglebay-Resort.com.

The getaway package includes three days and two nights deluxe lodging and breakfast for two, an evening’s dinner for two at the Ihlenfeld dining room, as well as admission passes for boating, fishing, miniature golf, tennis and swimming.

Given availability of resort accommodations, the lucky winner will have a full year from which he/she can schedule the exciting getaway.

To enter the contest, just click on the following link — aep.com/employees/Oglebay/ — and complete the entry form as instructed. All contest entries must be submitted electronically by Dec. 31.

Winner is responsible for all travel arrangements and making reservations.

Nothing keeps this good man down

Charles “Kayo” Murphy, at 88 years young, was at the controls in 1975 the first time AEP’s Cook Nuclear Plant Unit 1 reached “criticality” (a sustained nuclear fission chain reaction), and is still going strong. Murphy retired from AEP in 1988 after a long career at both Cook and the Clinch River Plant.

The Herald-Palladium newspaper in Michigan recently published an interesting story about Murphy’s life and career. Read the story in its entirety.

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