47 Years on the Line

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If you live in Norman and haven't met Phillip Miller or Jake Calvert, you must not be an OEC member.

Lifelong Norman residents Phillip and Jake take great pride in their work serving members who reside in Norman and parts of Noble. Together, they make sure the lights stay on for thousands of families and hundreds of businesses.

"I've been on a maintenance truck my entire career," Phillip said. "It's hard to imagine doing anything other than making sure the good people in our district are well cared for and their lights stay on."

For the past 35 years, Phillip has performed maintenance work in and around Norman. He joined OEC part-time in 1980, becoming the district lineman in 1993. The title is a coveted one at OEC, one many linemen hope to earn and never do. Phillip is grateful for the many years he's been given to meet and get to know the members he serves.

"I love my job and have learned so much about the people we serve over the years,” he said. “I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

Phillip has worked alongside Jake for the past 12 years — Jake will be taking over as district lineman later this year when Phillip hangs up his hard hat for good and enters his next stage of life: retirement.

Jake, a fourth generation Norman rancher when he’s not on the clock, also enjoys meeting and getting to know members as they traverse the Norman and Noble areas conducting maintenance work. While their job duties include ensuring electricity continually flows through the lines to members’ homes and businesses, both Phillip and Jake fully embrace OEC’s mission of improving our members’ quality of life.

“We try to go above and beyond simply repairing outdoor lights or installing new high-tech equipment,” said Phillip. “We take time to listen to the members who come outside to watch us work and try to fill their needs any way we can.”

Prior to joining OEC, Phillip worked for electrical contractors where he obtained his journeyman lineman certification. He is a veteran of the United States Army and Oklahoma National Guard Aviation Battalion — a helicopter aircrew member from 1979 to 1986. He served one year active duty while stationed in South Carolina and served five years in the reserves. He’s an avid hunter and fisherman and plans to take an Alaskan cruise with his wife of 37 years, Dawn, upon retirement. 

Phillip has one son, Jason, and one daughter, Kimberlin.

Jake’s family owns JSJ Cattle and Quarter Horses in Norman, mainly a cattle operation for beef consumption with aspirations of starting a line of quarter horses to act as ranch horses. Jake and his wife of 23 years, Samantha, have three sons, Jacob, Marshall and Paten. Their family — who has been on the land since 1935 — will grow by one this summer when Jacob and his wife, Sophia, welcome their first child. 

Be sure to give them a wave and a tip of the hat next time you see them, and know their first and top priority is making sure you have what you need for your families and communities to thrive.