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Employees Build Bench to Honor Co-Worker, Friend

by on November 4, 2022
Friends and co-workers of Wayne Martin stand behind the bench built in his honor. Pictured are Todd Patterson, from left, Bruce Taylor, Todd “TK” Kesling, Dalton Christian and Vasil Sindonov. Martin passed away in 2021 from leukemia.

Wayne Martin loved comedy.

As an instructor at the A Ray King Transmission Training Center in Pataskala, Ohio, Martin would try out new jokes on students and co-workers.

In his spare time, he performed at open mic nights at stand-up comedy clubs.

“Humor was a big part of him,” said Todd “TK” Kesling, a friend and co-worker. “He was always laughing and wasn’t afraid to poke fun at himself.”

During his five years working at the training center, Martin’s wit and spirit impacted a lot of people.

After he passed away from leukemia in 2021, his co-workers wanted to honor his memory.

“We talked about it as a group, what could we do?” Kesling said. “We wanted to do something nice for him and his family.”

Using his knowledge from high school shop class, Kesling started building a bench, which would be placed at the training center.

“We have a pond there and a lot of the students and instructions fish in the pond on their breaks,” Kesling said. “But there’s nowhere to sit. We thought that would be a great place”

With help from co-workers Chris Morrison, Dalton Christian, Vasil Sindonov and Bruce Taylor, among others, the project came to fruition.

A native of North Carolina, Martin came to AEP after years of working out in the western part of the U.S. He taught classes to transmission line crews and became a much beloved member of the staff.

“Wayne was great, everybody loved him,” Kesling said. “He has this southern drawl and was a very approachable person. It was easy for students to talk to Wayne.”

After a routine physical, Martin was diagnosed with leukemia. He spent some time at the Cleveland Clinic. His co-workers and friends tried to visit, when possible, but the COVID pandemic made things difficult.

“We didn’t want to carry anything in there that could harm his recovery,” Kesling added.

Martin has three children, who are older and live out of state. With the bench, the group could honor his memory and continue his legacy at AEP.

Once the bench was built and placed at the pond, the staff held a memorial service. They talked, shared stories of Martin and remembered a man they’ll never forget.

“He impacted all of our lives,” Kesling said.

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One Comment
  1. terimueller62 permalink

    I’m trying to figure out if it would be better for me to get my retirement program now.
    Started at Michigan Power Company in spring of 1977 as co-op Alot of times during are Michigan public service case’s I worked 40hrs & was pulled from school.
    But I don’t think my full too me status got filled until 1978.
    Worked until September 13th of 1996 when I was on sick leave and Kelly Lawton at that time called me into the office. Found out thru my Dr Frank Olney late I should of never been called in. So under direst I quit.
    But was never given a exit on interview either.
    Sincerely Theresa L Middleton
    Also under Teri L Mueller
    Married in 1980
    Phone number is 269-535-0064
    Address is 638 S Lincoln Av Three Rivers MI 49093

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