Wayne Secrist Retires from the Lincoln Co. P.U.D. After More Than 34 Years
by Fulton Miller
Much can be said about the great and dedicated men and women of the Lincoln County Public Utility District, and on Friday, March 29, a lot was said about one in particular. Friends and family of Wayne Secrist dragged the veteran P.U.D. serviceman to a private party at Pig Feathers BBQ and Twisted Snout Brewery in Toledo to celebrate his well-earned retirement with lots of balloons, pulled pork, oysters, beer, and a giant cake.
“We were thrilled to be able to help Wayne celebrate his retirement,” said Stu Miller, owner of Pig Feathers. “When we first opened in Toledo, we couldn’t go anywhere without hearing from people that Wayne told them to come eat at our restaurant. His support has meant the world to us.”
Wayne Secrist began working for the P.U.D. in July of 1974 as a groundman, assisting the linemen with overhead and underground construction. From there, Secrist progressed through the ranks as an equipment operator, apprentice journeyman, and lastly a serviceman, which he remained until the day of his retirement. During his time at the P.U.D., Wayne became well-known and respected in the community for his leadership, reliability, character, and liveliness, both in and out of the field.
Some eighty friends and loved ones showed up to wish Wayne a happy and fruitful retirement. Many stories and jokes were told throughout the night, from Wayne’s first and only hole of golf being a birdie, to the fact that the first time in nearly 39 years when he could be found without his pager was after he turned it in in January of this year. A co-worker who wished to keep Wayne accessible presented him with a working gold pager, the number of which is known only to the giver.
Intermittent with the memories were the occasional, “Don’t tell that one,” from Wayne, and the frequent, “I have to add to that,” from his co-workers and family. In the end, however, each tale contained a common thread, all together creating an image of a man who takes pride in workmanship, has a caring nature, and is unfalteringly dedicated to his family, his friends, his community, and his faith. Even an individual who has never had the immense pleasure of knowing Wayne Secrist personally could greatly respect him after hearing the numerous tributes.
Wayne states that he plans to spend his retirement traveling, working on his house, hunting and fishing, playing with his grandchildren, and, at long last, taking his wife on a long-awaited honeymoon. While he is happy to be away from the long hours and is looking forward to spending more time with his family, he also says he will greatly miss the people he worked with. From the sound of things, they will miss him even more.