- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 4, 2015

BREMERTON, Wash. (AP) - Adele Ferguson, a pioneering female journalist and a longtime reporter and columnist for the Bremerton Sun, has died. She was 90.

Her daughter, Karen Philipsen, told The Associated Press that Ferguson died Monday in Bremerton after a brief illness.

The Kitsap Sun reported ( https://bit.ly/1AXnGsf ) that Ferguson had a career that stretched nearly 50 years. Ferguson joined the state Capitol’s press corps in Olympia in 1961, the first full-time female reporter at the Legislature, according to the Sun.

Dave Ammons, the spokesman for Secretary of State Kim Wyman and a former longtime Olympia reporter for the AP, said Ferguson was “a trailblazer for women journalists in this state.”

“I had the privilege of working as a colleague for many years,” Ammons said. “She will be missed.”

The Sun reported that Ferguson began working in the Bremerton newsroom following World War II. She wrote a column and covered City Hall and the police department.

When she began reporting from Olympia, she became famous for her acerbic columns.

In a 2011 biography of Ferguson, commissioned by the Washington State Heritage Center, author John Hughes quoted longtime Secretary of State Ralph Munro about Ferguson’s influence in Olympia. “Elected officials would rush to the one newsstand that carried The Bremerton Sun in the Legislative Building to see who she had drowned in her column this week … Adele knew how to hit and hit hard.”

Ferguson stopped writing regularly for the Sun in 1993.

Philipsen said her mother “was a remarkable person to learn from. We will miss her.”

Ferguson’s husband, John Philipsen, died in 2005. Survivors include two daughters, Karen Philipsen and Annette Churbuck; one brother; and two sisters.



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