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Local

Long-time Windstream employee retiring after 45 years

Ken Scheff has been working for the telephone company for the past 45 years and even though the name has changed multiple times, what he has loved and enjoyed about working their has remained the same.

Scheff originally grew up just across the border in Minnesota. After attending tech school for electronics, Scheff took his first job in Guthrie Center. During his first few weeks of work, an ice storm came hit that had Scheff learning quickly the ins and outs of his job.

“We had to go out in the snow and pull them up out of the snow and put them back up on the poles so I learned fast how to put cables back up in the air,” Scheff said.

In 1985, Scheff accepted a cable splicing job in Newton which he would go on to do for 18 years. The company has changed names throughout his tenure in the business but he ends his career as a Windstream employee.

Having started his career in 1975 things have definitely changed over the years. Between the kinds of lines that are being used with things like fiber optic cables and most everything being buried now becoming popular to the kinds of phones that existed back then.

“We had pay telephones all over the place and I hated payphones because they were always getting beat up,” Scheff said. “You were constantly fixing payphones.”

Over the past 45 years, Scheff has had plenty of things to enjoy even if it meant dealing with sometimes disgruntled customers. Scheff enjoyed getting everything the way the customer wanted it to be and handling the problems that might arise.

“I enjoyed working with the customers even though some of them were kind of grumpy and sometimes they had a right to be,” Scheff said through laughter.

While there are going to be plenty of memories for Scheff to take with him, there are going to be things that he misses. Scheff will miss working with his co-workers and his customers. He has enjoyed his time over his career.

“Forty-five years; you gotta kind of like what you’re doing or you wouldn’t spend 45 years doing it and I enjoyed it. I really did,” Scheff said.

Scheff’s last day was Friday, June 26. In his retirement, he has plenty of things he wants to undertake. Between seeing his mother in Minnesota and keeping busy with projects around the house, Scheff has plenty of things to do.

“I’ve got a yard that I spend a lot of time with,” Scheff said.

In his years in the business, Scheff has been a cable splicer, a repairman and a business system tech, among other jobs. Scheff has plenty of memories to take with him as he retires and he has enjoyed his time over his career.

“It was a great 45 years and it was all fun looking back on it had a great career,” Scheff said. “I would do it all again if I could.”

Contact Dustin Teays at 641-792-3121 ext. 6533 or dteays@newtondailynews.com

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