AMHS skipper retires after 34 years

Posted: Friday, September 04, 2009

JUNEAU - Juneau resident and longtime Alaska Marine Highway System Capt. Ronald Bressette recently retired, wrapping up a 34-year career.

Bressette began his AMHS career in 1975 as a waiter in the dining room aboard the ferry Malaspina. He then worked for seven years in the stewards department where he said he did just about every job.

"I worked just about every job in the stewards department and then I worked in the unlicensed deck department and worked just about every job there," he said.

In 1992, he began working as a licensed deck officer and finally ascended to the rank of captain in 2006.

He served as a master aboard the Malaspina and the Matanuska before retiring as a master aboard the 235-foot ferry LeConte.

"Captain Bressette's professional performance helped AMHS to keep to the course (and) to become the unique transportation system that it is today," said Jim Beedle, deputy commissioner of marine operations for the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.

Despite the fact his career with AMHS is over, Bressette is now working with the Masters Mates & Pilots Union as a branch agent.

Bressette said his job was a memorable one.

"It was a good career, I met my wife working on the ship and I made a lot great friends," he said. "I'm grateful to the state for providing me the opportunity."

Bressette and his wife have two kids, one is 30 years old and the other is 27. The official retirement ceremony took place Aug. 12.

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