Betty Blake (September 20, 1931 - April 13, 1982)* was vice president of Greene Line Steamers during the tumultous years of the campaign to Save the Delta Queen. She was later promoted to president. This website includes a detailed history of the Save the Delta Queen campaign—click here.
Betty was born in Carlisle, Kentucky, and her father was longtime State Senator Stanley Blake, first elected in 1936. He turned eight-seven on Betty's death day. Betty's sister was Hellen Schu, wife of Sandy Schu, and her brother was William Blake.
Betty and my father Bill Muster worked together from 1966 to 1976, saving the Delta Queen. As a matter of fact, Betty became a part of our family and was a strong role model for me. Betty was an executive, a job mostly filled by men in those days. She was ahead of her time, but not ahead of criticism. Betty laid down the law when necessary. Some women are afraid to show strength, but Betty knew what she was doing. She was a great leader.
People remember Betty for her genuine friendly way and dedication to her work. She was an artist when it came to managing the boats. She was a genuinely happy person who knew exactly what she wanted in life and got it.
Betty died peacefully at home surrounded by friends. One of the last things she said was that she saw the other side and there were steamboats there.
Here are a few more photos from my father's Delta Queen archive.
Captain Wagner and Betty Blake celebrate when the Delta Queen is saved.
Betty marching with Ma Tooker. Vic Tooker, right, and the rest of the band were resident musicians on the Delta Queen.