Karleen/ Janey Bassett (Fort Wainwright friend )
Karleen, If you do see this, I would love to hear from you. Janey Close
Just learned / Janey Bassett (Fort Wainwright friend )Read >>
Just learned / Janey Bassett (Fort Wainwright friend )
I just learned of Bruce's death. I have such fond - and cold- memories of our time together in Alaska. Charlie died in 2000. I have often wondered what happened to those friends who were so close for such a short time. I remember when you came to Fairbanks. I was no longer the newest bride! We married in June of 1965. I do hope that you still receive messages from this site Close
A Great Boss and Christian Brother / Don Downs (Employee)Read >>
A Great Boss and Christian Brother / Don Downs (Employee)
It was with great sorrow that I learned of his passing from Karleen a few weeks ago. I worked for Bruce for about four years and had a great deal of respect for him. It was largely due to his influence that I found Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. He will be missed by many. Close
Every Time / Kristen Voetmann (Friend)
Dear Friends and Family of Bruce,
I wanted to take a moment to tell you of my interaction with your beloved father, husband, or uncle. My grandfather is Dave Voetmann and early on in the development of the Kodiak I was acquainted with Bruce. I became personally involved with the Kodiak and have a special place for the project in my heart. The more I became involved, the more opportunities I had to interact with Bruce. Every time I went to Idaho or met Bruce in Seattle, he had us take a picture together--and if at all possible, it was in front of the Kodiak! I still treasure those photos. He was always very encouraging and supportive of me even though he hardly knew me. For my high school culiminating project, I held a benefit concert for the Kodiak where Bruce drove all the way to Mountlake Terrace with his lovely wife to represent Quest and to give a five minute talk.
While I did not know him well, I will always cherish the memory of him and the time we spent together. He was a man of encouragement and hope.
Memories--Fond and Precious / Rick/JoAnn Froese (Friends)Read >>
Memories--Fond and Precious / Rick/JoAnn Froese (Friends)
Dear Karlene and family: Our prayers and thoughts are with you for sure just now! We've recently returned from Africa once again and would have missed what has recently occurred-- 'The Lord has come and calleth for thee--Bruce' has just happened.
Today we had just taken our son, Dan and his wife, Karlene, to the airport and an Alaska Airlines flight down to California. Dan phoned on his 'cell' just before takeoff, saying Bruce Kennedy has died (he has read this in the AA magazine onboard).
My what memories flood our minds. How you dear folk took us in when we were just back from Zimbabwe (Rhodesia) back in '89. You patiently allowed us to stay, for over a year!, in the apartment over your garage, as we acclimated back to the States after almost 30 years in Africa, where we had worked as missionaries in a mission hospital, in encouraging what is now a very active national church and also starting a new professional department at the University of Zimbabwe.
Both you and Bruce patiently guided us, encouraged us and blessed us with your daily presence and input until we were able to get back onto our feet financially here in America. How we treasured your goodness to us, along with the prayers and interest. Such will never be forgotten!
Now God has called home your dear husband, father and our friend. May our Lord now encourage your hearts and give peace to both you and the family in the midst of all this.
Sympathy and condolences / Merriel Coon (None, but my late husband was a cousin of Jean Converse Kennedy )Read >>
Sympathy and condolences / Merriel Coon (None, but my late husband was a cousin of Jean Converse Kennedy )
Please accept my condolences and sympathy for your terrible loss. I wish there was something I could say to help, but my words would only seem trite compared to the pages and pages you have received from people who are much wiser and more compassionate than I am.
I hope you do not mind that this is a letter different from most you are receiving, so I should explain myself. Many years ago when I was a bride, a “Round Robin” letter which had had been going for decades with contributions from various Converse uncles, aunts and cousins would appear in our mailbox a couple of times a year. My late husband would comment that his Uncle Charlie Converse, for whom my husband was named, had once been a lawyer but had quit that to become a Presbyterian minister. I wondered why in the world he would do such a thing. But, at that point in time I just did not understand the family into which I had married. Of course, no one including his grandfather could touch the wonderful Christian things which Bruce Kennedy did both before and after his resignation from Alaska Airlines. But you who are Converse descendants know that doing your best to make the world a better place just seems to come naturally. As I read the pages of accolades, I could only smile and think how it all fit the pattern.
Shortly after the fatal crash, my son who lives near Baltimore, Maryland, asked me in a phone conversation if he was related to the Alaska Airline Kennedys. He said he had read an obit in the “Baltimore Sun”, That is how I learned of the tragedy. One of my daughters is an educational systems designer for Pratt and Whitney aircraft in Connecticut, and at that time she was working on an assignment to write an article concerning coping with aircraft company disasters which are certain to happen whether in the shop or in the air. So I looked on Google to see if maybe they had the obit which had been in the “Sun”, and did not find that one but found pages and pages of other laudatory ones. I live in Mesa, Arizona and today Stuart Blackorby, a Converse cousin who lives in Minnesota, phoned me. I think Stuart is the only one surviving of the many Converse cousins who used to contribute to the “Round Robin.”I asked him if he knew of Bruce’s death, and he did not. He does not have a computer, but asked me to send information. So this time when I looked on Google I could not find the article from a Presbyterian magazine which I had sent to my daughter last month, but instead found your web site containing the memorial service eulogies which I will send to Stuart along with copies of some of the pictures. Thanks so much for making this available.
Lawyers seem to run in the Coon branch of the Converse family more than engineers or ministers, but the Converse blood seems to rise to the surface even in that questionable profession. My son ways he built his business on becoming known as an honest lawyer, and he also tries to find time to work in cases of the little people who are getting screwed. My older daughter, who worked for the Department of Children and Family Services in Illinois before she became a lawyer in Chicago, got a small award a couple of years ago for her efforts to influence state legislation to benefit foster children and/or the rights of grandparents who are raising grandchildren from broken homes. These are all small drops in the bucket compared to the contributions which the Kennedys have made, and I cannot wait to read about what feats the next Kennedy generation is accomplishing.
Again, please accept my sympathy for the void and emptiness which you all must feel.
Many, many years ago my husband’s brother passed away suddenly at age 23, and his mother Ruth Converse Coon is said to have remarked a few years later, “Time does not heal all wounds, but it does enable you to cope.”
Merriel Coon Close
His humility, humanity and constancy in his love of God and friendship with us. / Mike And Dot Palmer Fry (friend and co Board member )
Bruce was one of those people who gave you his full attention; he listened more than he spoke ; when he did speak in Board meetings everyone listened to the wisdom and perspective he would offer.He was an inspiration.
His priorities were God set and God led.
A man of many interests and yet we saw only some.
We praise God for a life lived well and to God's glory. Yet our hearts and prayers are with you Karleen, Kevin and Karin and the rest of the family as you strive to work through the shock, disbelief and profound sadness you must be feeling in these early days.
May you all thrive in God's service as Bruce's example stands before you.
Much love in Christ
Dot and Mike Palmer Fry Close
Bruce Kennedy, a Legend himself. Proof of the man he was, is exactly what has been said about him. May God Bless his family, and know that he'll never be forgotten. On Eagles Wings he'll be....FOREVER!
Micah 6:8 / Dave And Judy Wackerbarth (Friends)Read >>
Micah 6:8 / Dave And Judy Wackerbarth (Friends)
We think this verse describes Bruce: "He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." This is how we'll remember Bruce. Although we know he's in a better place, we miss him here. Close
We grieve with Bruces family and friends but with much hope knowing his final destination and close relationship with his Saviour Jesus.
Typically on Friday mornings after board meetings of Thursday at Quest, The board meets with all Quest employees. Usually part of Bruces' contribution would be to shine a light of vision for us on the worldwide impact of the Kodiak venture. This was always inpiring given his unique presentation and as one of the ohter respondents noted of his unassuming nature.
During our last meeting with the board, Bruce shared with us that had they (the board) known that it would take this long and cost this much money, they never would have pushed forward with the KODIAk project. However, as Bruce acknowleged, God only gave them the vision to get to the next goal and the funds to do so.
Thank you to Mr. Kennedy and his family / Darwin Wheeler (Family friend )Read >>
Thank you to Mr. Kennedy and his family / Darwin Wheeler (Family friend )
I have many memories of spending time with Mr. Kennedy and his family. However, my favorite memory of Mr. Kennedy has always been more of a feeling. Mr. Kennedy was always very welcoming to me, just as the rest of the Kennedy family has been. He always left me with a feeling of acceptance. He was never judgmental or biased. His nonjudgmental and accepting attitude always left me with a sense of great admiration and respect for him. It is great to know that Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy have instilled those same special qualities in their children and extended family. Thank you Kennedy Family and may God continue to bless you. Close
A True Gentleman / Don And Lois LaTorra (Ruth Voetmanns parents )
We first met Bruce and Karleen about three years ago and frequently ran into each other at Taproot Theater. Our first impression of Bruce was that of a genuine, unassuming gentleman and we never saw cause to change our minds. We regret not coming to know him better here on this earth but we do know that one day we will follow him to that place where there is no time or sorrow or tears. We look forward to enjoying him then. May our Lord Jesus hold you close and comfort you in the meantime. Close
A giant of great humility / Rollin Van Broekhoven (Friend and MAF Board Colleague )
My deapest Sympathy to Karleen and the family. I had long heard of Bruce before I met him. Our chance first meeting one September night, after midnight, on a deserted parking lot at MAF in Redlands California did not live up to my imaginations and expectations of who Bruce was supposed to be, and the man I had long looked forward to getting to know. Yet, from that moment on, we bonded as friends, and that friendship only grew stronger as the years went on. We went through experiences together, in MAF, in Packer/Quest, and New Era, will long impress me with the kind of person and friend Bruce was, not just to me, but to everyone. A trip to Seattle for me was never complete without time with Bruce. But it was his vision, energy, humility, and his Godly outlook on why he was on earth that attacted me to him. Those memories of his attibutes and character will live on in my heart for many years to come. He was simply a great man! Close
The more we read about your father, Karin, the more we wish we'd known him. Such a loss! We grieve with you and your family! (members of Karen's former church, Trinity United Presbyterian in Santa Ana, CA).
Our Condolences / Leslie Rosick (Former ASA Employee )
We were honored to work in the Alaska Airlines family so ably led by Mr. Kennedy. His integrity and leadership are just two of his many great legacies. Our deepest sympathies to you,
Janae Brown Leslie Rosick (sisters and former ASA employees) Close
An unforgettable family / Marty Stuewig (family admirer )
Your family will always have a special place in my heart. What a priviledge and what a blessing to have had our life touch. Again thank you for your love, compassion and Christian friendship, you showed to my family and esp. our Heidi. Close
WHAT MORE, IS THERE TO SAY? / Shari Whitehead (VISITOR)
I WAS SO TAKEN, WHEN I READ ABOUT BRUCE. QUITE A ROLE MODEL. YOU MUST BE SO PROUD, THAT YOU HAD HIM, FOR A DAD. I WISH I COULD HAVE MET THIS AMAZING MAN. I LOST MY SON (YANNICK) APRIL 5, 2005. AGE: 16. I WISH HE COULD HAVE LIVED TO BE YOUR DADS AGE. MAYBE HE COULD HAVE BEEN, A GREAT MAN TOO!
IT IS SAD TO WALK THE ROAD ALONE INSTEAD OF SIDE BY SIDE BUT TO ALL THERE COMES A MOMENT WHEN THE WAYS OF LIFE DIVIDE YOU GAVE US MANY YEARS OF HAPPINESS THEN CAME SORROW AND TEARS BUT YOU LEFT US, SO MANY YEARS OF MEMORIES WE WILL TREASURE, THROUGHOUT THE YEARS.
A Wonderful Dad! / Trina Hottes (Friend, friend of Karin )Read >>
A Wonderful Dad! / Trina Hottes (Friend, friend of Karin )
Karin, I loved your dad, and he was always very welcoming and loving. I will miss him, I will certainly be praying for the Lord's comfort for you and your family. Love, Trina Close