Excerpt from In Transit: a newsletter for King County employees (March/April 2012 Issue)
In January, Metro installed a new photographic bus shelter mural commemorating the life of Beulah “Bee” Dyer, a Lake City resident and dedicated transit user. Born in Ballard in 1921, Dyer rode streetcars and buses almost from her first day, perhaps because her father was a Seattle streetcar driver. She never tried to get a driver’s license, believing the bus was “always better.”
Dyer took up to six bus trips a day – to shop, visit with friends, attend classes, and volunteer – and was known as a “walking bus schedule.” Friends report that she could tell you, without having to look it up, which bus to take to any destination between Des Moines and Everett, and when you needed to be at the bus stop.
She raised her daughter, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren to be bus riders. Every story she told seemed to begin with what bus she caught and how long it took her to get there, and ended with the buses she rode to get home.
Some of Dyer’s best friends were bus drivers. When she turned 80, her Metro friends threw a surprise party aboard her Route 65 bus. Ron Sims, King County Executive at the time, presented her with a cake and everyone on board sang Happy Birthday, making both local and national news.
After Dyer passed away last year, her granddaughter, Jahna Dyer, approached Metro about finding a way to memorialize her grandmother. Dyer, it turns out, had wanted to have her ashes scattered from a bus window. “We came up with an alternative, ” said Project Manager Dale Cummings. “With the help of Photo Center Northwest, we created a photographic mural for a bus shelter.”
The Beulah “Bee” Dyer shelter mural is now in place, just south of Fred Meyer on N 130th Street, near Lake City Way.