Fauntleroy farewell for history-making Captain Lynda Wheeler

Just came back to West Seattle on the state ferry Tillikum from Vashon (covered the two-race campaign forum – stories in the morning) – without realizing, till the boat was almost docked, that it was a historic run: The last voyage for Captain Lynda Wheeler, Washington State Ferries‘ first female captain. Well-wishes were broadcast on the public-address system just as the Tillikum pulled up to the Fauntleroy dock; the voice urged those on board to applaud Captain Wheeler as she walked off. (We hoped to catch a photo but she was out of sight by the time we drove off the ferry.) In 1977 – according to this timeline – Captain Wheeler became WSF’s first female deck officer (here’s more from HistoryLink).

ADDED SATURDAY 6:48 AM: Turns out someone who read this last night did get a photo – one of the West Seattle-residing candidates at the aforementioned forum. State Sen. (County Council hopeful) Joe McDermott:

I had the opportunity to congratulate her (last) night walking off the boat here at Fauntleroy. She is looking forward to hiking during retirement, but is sleeping in (this) morning.

3 Replies to "Fauntleroy farewell for history-making Captain Lynda Wheeler"

  • 22blades July 31, 2010 (9:46 am)

    Congrats to Captain Wheeler for a succesful career and wishing her a very happy retirement!

  • FH QM August 2, 2010 (8:39 pm)

    Thank you Captain Wheeler for coming before me! I really appreciate the trail that you blazed! I appreciate all the women that came before me and you were the first! That is amazing! I hope you enjoy what you have accomplished and the time to do the other things in life that you enjoy!

  • Vivian Price August 8, 2010 (9:35 am)

    Congrats to all the women who broke through the gender barriers to work on the ferries and tugs. I’m doing research on women in non-traditional work in Seattle in the 1970’s, so would love to get in touch with Lynda or anyone else who was active, especially between 1970 and 1980… Contact me at vpvhprice@gmail.com
    Vivian Price
    Asst Prof CSU Dominguez Hills

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