WALDO – Like many teenagers, Terry Lowe had no idea what he wanted to do.
“My summers,” Lowe recalls, “were spent at the pool, baseball diamonds, and hanging out with my friends in Prospect. I really didn’t know what I wanted to do after graduation. My brother-in-law worked for one of the largest commercial concrete contractors in the United States in Hamilton, Ohio. They offered me a job and I accepted.
“I had no experience in the concrete business, but I needed a job,” Lowe continued. “I started as a worker. The company has worked on major skyscraper construction projects in Columbus, Cincinnati and other cities. I spent a lot of time on the road commuting to work and working on projects in places like the OSU football stadium and 64-story buildings!”
“I even worked on big projects in Houston and Miami,” he added. “I also spent a lot of time working at the Honda plant in Marysville when it was being built in the late 70s and early 80s. I was actually at work when they dug the first feet page at the Marysville plant. One of the funniest parts of my early days was working in the basement of the Cincinnati Reds stadium on a project and talking to Marge Schott.
Now 61, Lowe grew up in Prospect and graduated from Elgin High School in 1978.
“I graduated in May,” he noted, “and started working in the concrete business in June.”
But in the early 1990s, Lowe “really wanted to venture out” on his own.
“I had friends in the construction business in the Marion area and saw their success,” he said. “I spent time talking with them and knew there was an opportunity for a concrete contractor in this area. I knew I had the skills and was ready to get off the road to get the job. I had two young boys who were involved in many activities and I was willing to stay close to home. With the support of my wife, I took a big step forward and started Custom Crete in 1994.”
Lowe has since been the founder/owner of Custom Crete. And now his son, Tyler, is co-owner.
“My dad and I share roles and titles to make Custom Crete the company it is,” explained Tyler Lowe.
Tyler Lowe, 37, grew up in Waldo, graduated from River Valley High School in 2003, then went to Hocking College in Nelsonville to get his certification as an emergency medical technician and vocational firefighter for the state of Ohio. He also attended the Tri Rivers Adult Education School of Paramedicine where he obtained his paramedic certification.
“After college,” he said, “I became a full-time firefighter/paramedic and have pursued that career for the past 15 years.”
“For years,” he added, “I thought my career path was to be a firefighter/paramedic and helping people, which I loved. But I always felt that something was missing. My true passion is to learn, to create, to evolve and with concrete I can do it. I constantly strive to learn the latest techniques and transform the visions of customers into masterpieces.”
Tyler worked part-time for Custom Crete on his days off from the fire department. He recently took early retirement from the fire department to join the family business.
“I wouldn’t change the path that life has taken me,” Tyler noted. “I feel like my time as a firefighter has rounded me out well and helped me achieve my dream job.”
“What started out as a ‘just’ job out of high school,” the elder Lowe concluded, “turned into a career I hadn’t really planned. It has become something I like to do. I can therefore, without a doubt, say that I am happy and extremely blessed with the path my life has taken.
Aces of Trades is a weekly series about people and their jobs – whether it’s unusual jobs, fun jobs, or people who take ordinary jobs and make them extraordinary. If you have a suggestion for a future profile, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.