When Lynette Bohle O’Connor graduated from Plevna High School in 1972, she and a friend, Judy Steffes, headed for the city lights of Minneapolis with their hearts set on becoming airline stewardesses.
By Sherry Vogel
They enrolled in a finishing school that offered a three month course for airline stewardesses. A past Miss Minnesota was one of their instructors. They learned how to sit properly, walk with a book on their head, apply make-up, and even false eyelashes. They did receive brief instructions on how to book flights. They were disappointed with the training because later they learned they would have to be 21 to become a stewardess. They were 18. Airline companies also prefer to train their own flight attendants.
The girls headed back to Baker where they both found employment at the Green Acres Supper Club. Two months later, Lynette moved to Miles City where she found employment at Christiansen’s V-Store. Later, moving back to Baker, she worked in the office of Fallon Memorial Hospital for a year before she started a position at Montana Bank as a secretary. One day in 1976, she was walking to the mailbox and she was stopped and offered a job as the first secretary for Shell Oil Company in Baker. Lynette accepted the position and worked there for three years. Later, a work acquaintance, Tom Greene, offered her a job at Juniper Petroleum, a new company he was starting.
She worked there for three years.
In 1978 she married Dan O’Connor. She became a stay at home mom while raising her sons Dirk and Troy.
In the summer of 1990 her youngest child was school age and Lynette decided to re-enter the work force. She trained with Mrs. Jeanette Burkle then replaced her as she retired.
Over the years she has noted how technology has advanced. When she started as a secretary, the electric typewriter was mainstream. Over the years everything became computerized. “As times changed, in some ways computers made life easier. Although it is quicker now to transmit records (to the state) by computer, there seems to be more records that need to be transmitted,” Lynette stated. “Everything was done manually at first. I remember punching lunch tickets by hand when I first was at the school,” Lynette added. She continued, “I really enjoyed my job. I will miss all the kids and watching them grow up. I also enjoyed working with all the employees at the Plevna School!”
When asked, “What does retirement look like for you?” She was quick to answer she plans to spend more time with her nine grandchildren. Dirk and his wife Sheila have Cooper, Madison, Avery, Miles, Emma, and Ellie. Troy and his wife have twins Jaxson and Maddox, and Griffin.
Lynette plans to help her husband, Danny, around the place. She also mentioned finishing a quilt she had started four years ago. Then added she plans to complete a quilt for each of her grandchildren. Looks like this retiring secretary has her second career “pieced” out for her.