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Betty Lowman Carey (1914-2011)


April 1, 2011

It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Betty Lowman Carey, a noted reporter and author, intrepid adventurer and beloved mother and wife. Born in Anacortes, Washington, in 1914, Betty refused to accept the premise that there were activities that she could not participate in because she was female. She became a reporter and columnist for the Anacortes Daily Mercury while she was still in high school, and earned a BA from the University of Washington. In 1937, at the age of 22, Betty completed a 66-day rowing trip from Anacortes to Ketchikan, Alaska in Bijaboji, her dugout canoe. In 1963, Betty rowed the distance again, this time from Ketchikan to Anacortes, and became the only woman known to have twice rowed a dugout between Washington and Alaska. She later wrote about her amazing experiences in her book, Bijaboji: North to Alaska by Oar  (edited by Neil G. Carey). She also published numerous articles about commercial fishing based on her firsthand experiences reef net fishing in Puget Sound in 1938 and halibut fishing in the Gulf of Alaska in 1939. In 1940, Betty, always seeking adventure, was shipwrecked while crewing on a sailing schooner off the coast of Nova Scotia. While returning from Halifax to Nova Scotia, she met Neil G. Carey, a sailor on the USS Colorado, and they were married in December 1941. Over the years, the Careys lived in Washington, DC, Idaho, Hawaii, Japan and California, but they finally settled in Sandspit and Puffin Cove in the Queen Charlotte Islands in 1965 and spent many wonderful years there. She died on March 16, 2011. We send our sincere condolences to Betty’s family and friends—she will be missed.