The Boeing Company pulled out all the stops today to celebrate its 100th birthday – from the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange, to the “Boeing 100” flag flying atop Seattle’s space needle, to the old and new Boeing airplanes lined up at the Museum of Flight.
But it was the old and new people in the company’s extended family who provided some of the most touching highlights at today’s kickoff for the centennial weekend.
June Boeing, the 90-year-old widow of William Boeing Jr. and the daughter-in-law of company founder William Boeing, reminisced about her husband after receiving a gift of the company’s original incorporation papers, filed in Seattle on July 15, 1916.
“I always thought I was his first love. And soon after we were married, I found out I wasn’t,” she said. “The Boeing Company was his first love.”
Another moment came when Mawut Mayen, one of the “lost boys of Sudan” who grew up to become a manager with the 777 program, recounted how Boeing helped him find a happy ending to his refugee story. “I have a great future ahead of me,” he said.