Lou Annie Charles, Wichita Rosie and Master Joke Killer

By Washington Women in Trades

Lou Annie Charles, WWII Wichita Rosie

Lou Annie Charles, also known as Lou, is from Muskogee, OK. She was trained by the National Youth Association (NYA), a youth jobs training program, at 19 years old to serve in World War II. She was a Wichita Rosie, working at the Boeing plant there for two and half years where she was a mechanic and drilled holes. She was later a riveter.

She followed her mom to Seattle after the war, got married, had a baby and eventually got a job at Boeing with her Aunt Josie (a former Rosie calendar girl). There, she began as a bucker, then a riveter. Often the only woman in the shop, Lou got along with the guys just fine. In fact, when they tried to tell her jokes about women that she didn’t want to hear, she’d purposely kills the joke! (More on this below.)

She ended up working for Boeing for 32 years. Lou Annie still lives in the house she and her husband had built in 1956, and these days she volunteers for King County elections, participates in church activities, babysits her grandkids and walks 23 blocks every morning!

We know you’re wondering how Lou Annie kills a joke. Here’s how it works:

  1. The joke teller starts the joke.
  2. Lou Annie then replies with either an off-the-wall comment or the real punch line.
  3. The joke teller is left with nothin’.

And that, my friends, is how Lou Annie Charles, master “Joke Killer,” works. We know, ‘cause we’ve experienced it.

To find out how you can become an apprentice and launch your career in aerospace or manufacturing, visit AJAC’s Get Started Section.

Washington Women in Trades interviewed and wrote this story of Lou Annie Charles.