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Passing of Retired Journeyman Inside Wireman Oden

We mourn the passing of Retired Journeyman Inside Wireman Oden, who was 85 years old, and had been a member of Local 569, IBEW, for over 46 years.

William (known as Bill) hailed from Ysleta, Texas, where his interest in electricity began. He secured vocational agricultural training, combining courses in basic electricity, along with farm wiring, from the late 40s to 1950. He took the next step in his electrical training/experience, by working at the El Paso Natural Gas Company, and operating, servicing, and maintaining electrical generating plants through the mid-50s. All roads led him west to El Cajon by 1956, where he secured employment as a maintenance electrician’s helper. By mid-1969, he came to Local 569, where he secured his first Union job at Eastland Electric, as an Electrician D (in those days, an Elect. D meant the person had the journeyman skills, but just hadn’t passed Local 569’s journeyman wireman’s test). (In those days, the number of questions on the test that one had to pass, in order to work as an Electrician D, filled just one page [double-spaced].) Even after passing the test, however, a person still had to prove his mettle, by working (without becoming a member) for up to 2½ (or more) years. Brother Oden officially became a member in January 1972. Bill’s career would last through the 80s, by having worked for Don’s Backhoe, Bob Vanderlinden, and Metro Electric. He retired in 1988.

A Memorial Service/Celebration of Life was held on Sat., Feb. 24th.