Clinton ferry terminal named for Jack Metcalf

Jack Metcalf -
Jack Metcalf
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CLINTON — The Jack Metcalf Ferry Terminal in Clinton was dedicated Thursday by some of the people the congressman from Whidbey cared most about.

“We always thought this would be a wonderful tribute to my father, who traveled the ferries every day,” said his daughter Ann Bowman.

Metcalf, who served as a Republican from 1960 to 2000 in both the state legislature and U.S. House of Representatives, passed away last year. A number of his friends from both sides of the aisle helped get the ferry terminal renamed in his honor.

Bowman recalled that her father used the ferry to prepare for the day’s work on the way over and wind down coming home.

“Dad understood the value and importance of the ferry to Whidbey and other ferry-served islands.

“This is an incredible honor and it means so much to the family,” she said.

Metcalf moved to Whidbey Island when he was 9 months old and his wife Norma still lives in the house they built together; he graduated from Langley High School in 1945 before college and had a 54-year career as a teacher and public servant.

Chris Strow, who was Metcalf’s deputy chief of staff during his legislative years, noted this might be the last time people would publicly gather to honor the man.

“I’m carrying a little heartbreak with me today,” he said.

Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen, D-Camano, was instrumental in getting the state Department of Transportation to agree to the name switch — the terminal is the only one in the ferry system named after a person.

“Jack and I were from differentpolitical parties,” Haugen said. “But we worked together in the legislature and it’s very appropriate that this terminal is named in his memory. It’s the right thing to do.”

Then Haugen introduced the star of the day.

“Behind every great man, there’s a great woman, and that’s you, Norma,” she said.

With that, Norma Metcalf unveiled two plaques that will be installed in the Clinton terminal building next to a picture of her husband wearing his trademark plaid flannel shirt.

“Today is a high point for our family,” she said.

One plaque simply says Metcalf was a “fisherman, hunter, teacher, U.S. Congressman and ferry commuter.”

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