Bruce Kennedy
(1938-2007)
Memorial website in the memory of your loved one
Tributes and Condolences
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TRAX Focal  / Joyce Chalcraft (Employee of Alaska Airline and fellow Christian )  Read >>
TRAX Focal  / Joyce Chalcraft (Employee of Alaska Airline and fellow Christian )
Working for a company that was lead by a man that was not afraid for all to know that his greatest identity was to be known as an adopted son of Christ, has been and joy for me.

When my sister's little girl, soon to be ten years old,  was hit by a car and killed, my father was in Alaska visiting his niece.  
Dad immediately booked a flight home, to stand with his daughter (my sister) in her hour of greatest loss.  Dad boarded the plane with a very heavy heart.  Soon, a meal was served; Dad had not eaten since receiving the news of the loss of his granddaughter, nearly two day previous.  He still did not want to eat, but noticed a small piece of paper on his tray.  It was a prayer card.  Dad told many people how that card touched him as nothing else could have at that time, it was what he needed.  He read and re-read the card, (which, with God's guidance, had just the right verse).  Dad carried that card for the longest time.  When Dad went to join my niece, seven years later,  in his bible,  as a bookmark was that prayer card. It meant a great deal to Daddy from the day he received it until the day God took him home.  

A few years later, when I my children reached an age that it was time for me to go back to the work force, the values that card represented, placed Alaska as my first choice of employment.   

I was privileged to meet Bruce a couple of times and saw in him the compassion that the prayer card represented to my Dad.

To the Kennedy Family and all who knew and loved Mr. Kenedy I say, May the Lord carry you through the pain of loss and forward in the knowledge of all the lives Bruce has touched and blessed.  May God be with you.
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a beautiful story  / Angela Mason   Read >>
a beautiful story  / Angela Mason

i didn't know your husband/father, never heard of this airline or of any of the other things.  but reading this just bought tears to my eyes.  not because it was sad, but it bought back so many memories of my own dad!  he wasn't a business man, didn't hike, etc.  but boy did he love his God!  oh, the memories.  he spent his life doing some of the same things as  mr. kennedy.  my father was a preacher and his work was finished in april 2001.  when my father went to be with Jesus, i rejoiced!  this is something he had preached about for so long.  when he see Jesus.  we can only imagine what their homecoming was like in heaven.    i look forward to seeing my wonderful father again, but i want to see the face of Jesus.  my father always had time for his family.  he was the family preacher.  he always believed that the family that prayed together, stayed together.  all nine of us are doing just fine!  when i think of my dad, it always bring a smile to my face as you will soon see for yourself.  stay strong and keep that beautiful faith of yours and you will all be reunited again.  the airline workers were so fortunate to have an employer like your father.  a christian man is a fair man.  trust-worthy.  oh, if only we had more men like our fathers.  i didn't mean to write so much, but it couldn't be helped.  God bless y'all.

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Young Again  / Kenny Kasel (Employee Alaska )  Read >>
Young Again  / Kenny Kasel (Employee Alaska )
Bruce is now in a better place, he has no pain, no tears, he is cured of cancer. He is young again and is with out Lord. 

It is a celebration of his life and character that I say Im sorry for the loss of this great Man.

His legacy is strength when there was little to stand on in the days of crumbling airlines, kindness to all who worked with him, grace under the most trying times, calmness in the faces of adversity, conviction sprinlkled with faith, honesty and trust in Family, friends and fellow workers.

He dreamed o fbetter days and believed that the best days were yet to come. His view of Alaska Airlines was our home to your home we will fly with a Happy face!

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Loss of Bruce  / Steve Hamilton (Friend and co-worker )  Read >>
Loss of Bruce  / Steve Hamilton (Friend and co-worker )
It is with a heavy heart that we send our deepest condolences to Karleen and family.  For myself, I was honored to serve on Bruce's senior staff from 1988 until his early retirement as CEO.  He was a friend as well as a boss, and an astute and analytical thinker.  One cannot say enough about his dedication and vision for the company and his boldness in moving the company toward becoming the fine major multinational airline it has become.  I greatly enjoyed working for Bruce, even in the delight he took in finding caustic things to say about lawyers, in jest of course.  He will be missed as a major force on the AAG board and of course his Mission Aviation and Quest work.  AS to these last parts of his legacy, I suspect he would have been proudest of them.  They are, I think, clear reflections of his central values and deep Christian faith.  We are better for having known him. Close
So sorry for your loss  / Barb Watson (flight attendant for ASA )  Read >>
So sorry for your loss  / Barb Watson (flight attendant for ASA )
My heart goes out to your family at this time You're in my prayers and thoughts. I admired, Bruce and what he what he stood for. He was Alaska's best CEO ever! He will be missed terribly. Barb Watson Close
He Was Always my Hero  / Jan Foster (Alaska Airlines )  Read >>
He Was Always my Hero  / Jan Foster (Alaska Airlines )
I had always assumed that Bruce’s greatest success came while at the helm of Alaska Airlines. Having attended his memorial service, I now realize that there were countless, but by far his greatest achievement has to have been the two incredible young people that he and Karleen raised together. The grace and eloquence that each of them displayed during one of their darkest hours was a true testament to the fact that Bruce will live on through them. May God Bless the Kennedy family always… Close
A Privilege beyond Words...  / Bob And Cheryl Doerr (Director of the Northwest Community foundation )  Read >>
A Privilege beyond Words...  / Bob And Cheryl Doerr (Director of the Northwest Community foundation )
Dear Kennedy Family, my husband Bob and I had the wonderful privilige of attending the memorial service.  My husband is the Director of the Northwest Christian Commnity Foundation. Because of my husband's affiliation with the Foundation, and Quest Aircraft, we felt the strong desire to pay our respects, and connect with the wonderful family that we had been praying for. I was unprepared for the deep emotional impact that your husband and father had on my life... and my husbands.. It's very rare to ever know a man like Bruce Kennedy.... He truly lived his life as an act of worship....I told Bob," now I know why there will be some in heaven with more jewels in their crowns.... because they deserve them"... Your husband and father has inspired us to live differently....with simplicity, with humbelness, with grateful hearts...Thank You for what you gave to us last Friday... and will continue to give to us...With our loving Father's love, Bob and Cheryl Doerr. Close
our thoughts are with you and your family  / WILLAM Coats (alaska family )  Read >>
our thoughts are with you and your family  / WILLAM Coats (alaska family )

Mrs Kennedy and family...my family offers you our heartfelt thoughts and prayers...and we are confident that God will meet you at the point of your needs..so please continue to stand on the word of God..Mr Kennedy was an exceptional man so I'm sure hes in great company now...wishing you the very of best of what God has to offer..Bill Coats and family

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Our deepest sympathy, Karin  / Karen Chalmers   Read >>
Our deepest sympathy, Karin  / Karen Chalmers
Dear Pastor Karin,
Although we did not know your father, we love him. What an example of a life of significance. What a family legacy. We offer our deepest sympathies, and you and your family remain in our prayers. Love in Christ, Karen and Bruce Chalmers and family. Close
Thoughts and prayers are with you...  / Melissa Kreisa (Friend of Karin )  Read >>
Thoughts and prayers are with you...  / Melissa Kreisa (Friend of Karin )
Karin, you and your family are such an inspiration to ours. Thoughts and prayers are with you --

John, Melissa, Julia, Lea and Nicolas Kreisa Close
Well done, good and faithful servant.  / Frank And Sandy Jennings (Lutheran Community Services (LCS) )  Read >>
Well done, good and faithful servant.  / Frank And Sandy Jennings (Lutheran Community Services (LCS) )
To Karleen and your loving family:

We were privileged to meet you and Bruce, in your lovely home, as representatives of Lutheran Community Services.  The Memorial Service was such an uplifting tribute and an incredible witness to a life of purpose that was well lived.  Praise God for Bruce's life.  Karleen - your children did a wonderful job of paying tribute to their Father.  And the congregation singing was just unbeleivable!

Our prayer is that our God of Hope and Mercy will continue to comfort all of you in this time of your deep loss and sorrow.  Those little grandchildren are real darlings!  We have been longtime friends of your longtime former neighbors, the Wiesner's.  Abundant Blessings to you.  Frank and Sandy Jennings - Des Moines... Close
Mr. Kennedy man of integrity and morals. We will miss you dearly.  / Karin Pfaeltzer-Lopes (flt attendant )  Read >>
Mr. Kennedy man of integrity and morals. We will miss you dearly.  / Karin Pfaeltzer-Lopes (flt attendant )

I met Mr. Kennedy in 1988 when I was a csa in OAK.  He walked right up to me and introduced himself and said he had a daughter also named Karin.  I remember thinking what a young and handsome man he was.  I was impressed at his caring nature and  and I respected him right away.  He was truly a man of integrity and morals and I was proud to work for such a person.  I was so upset to hear about his passing and wonder why such a wonderful human being should be taken away so soon.  God bless the Kennedy family.
Reguards,
Karin Pfaeltzer-Lopes  

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With deepest condolences...  / Bertha Fagan (AS PHX Rez Agent )  Read >>
With deepest condolences...  / Bertha Fagan (AS PHX Rez Agent )
My thoughts and prayers are with your family. I never met Mr. Kennedy personally, but I truly admire his work and all what his legacy to our company. He was always a familiar face on our videos, historic spots and now on our annivesary video. Thank you Mr. Kennedy for what you left here for all of us! May God bless your family and give them the strength to go on until you meet in heaven again, God bless! Respectfully yours, Close
So Very Sorry for Your Loss  / Melissa Eiler (Visitor~Daughter of Irwin & Renee Eiler )  Read >>
So Very Sorry for Your Loss  / Melissa Eiler (Visitor~Daughter of Irwin & Renee Eiler )

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Current employee  / John Winkenwerder (Briefly introduced by Marvin VanHorn at a Leadership gathering )  Read >>
Current employee  / John Winkenwerder (Briefly introduced by Marvin VanHorn at a Leadership gathering )
My introduction to Bruce a few years ago, was maybe in itself an example of greatness in the ordinary; a warm, curious and genuine greeting.  I can't say I knew Bruce well at all, so I'll try to be concise with my sentiment. To borrow a line from my favorite movie "A Knight's Tale";

"Your men love you, if I knew nothing else about you that would be enough. "

Well done Bruce. Close
I am amazed  / Kim Kekuewa (asa employee )  Read >>
I am amazed  / Kim Kekuewa (asa employee )
To the Kennedy Family,

I did not know or work with Bruce but after reading all the tributes for him I am amazed at the legacy that he leaves behind. He is truley an example on how to live a full life. After all is said and done one can only hope that people would say all the things about  them that has been said about and to Mr. Kennedy.

He got another thing right too. At the end of it all the only  thing that matters is that we return to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

May Gods grace and blessings be upon you and your family during this difficult time.

sincerely,
Kim Close
Our hearts are with you today  / Yo Miller (friend of Karin's )  Read >>
Our hearts are with you today  / Yo Miller (friend of Karin's )
Dear Kennedys,

I've been blessed to be friends with Karin for almost a decade now and I was shocked and saddened to hear the news of her dad's passing.  My husband Jim and I briefly met Bruce & Karleen during an interview process years ago at John Knox.  Even in the short time we had with him then, it was clear that he was a man of integrity, character and wisdom.  We know he is dearly loved and will be dearly missed.  Know that we are thinking of and praying for you today during the service and this difficult time.  We love you!

Yo & Jim Miller Close
A Leader interesting in those who worked for him  / Marvin Van Horn (Former Employee )  Read >>
A Leader interesting in those who worked for him  / Marvin Van Horn (Former Employee )
It was a cold day in Kotezbue, when Bruce and Company returned to the Arctic ifor the first expansion move shortly after deregulation. I was the poor new CSM for Wien , and remember being warmly greeted by Bruce at a  community event celebrating the re-established service.  It was held in a gleaming new terminal, and I felt out of place. Bruce's welcoming warmth immediately put me at ease.  

It was this meeting, and watching our market share quickly erode in the following weeks that made me realise that Wien's days were going to be numbered.  If I were to stay in the airline industry, I needed to work for this glamorous Carrier who was going to be so competitive in a post CAB environment.  It had such an inspiring young leader who wore a White Hat, no less, and I wanted to be one of the team. 

It was a short time later, and true to my aspirations, I was now the Alaska CSM introducing Bruce to the community at the opening of the new terminal at the Deadhorse, Prudhoe Bay.  This was the second Alaska expansion, but now I was participating, not watching from the outside.  I couldn't have been prouder.

Even though I was never far enough up the food change to report to Bruce, I will never forget the interest he took in what I was doing, whether working with Ken Skidds on code shares in Alaska,  fighting with the Post Office for our share of the mail, or opening new stations in Mexico.  He always seemed to take a genuine interest and ask about my latest projects.  It was a heady thing to be noticed by the CEO of the Company.  It always had impact.

8 years later I made a decision to stop the corporate ladder climb to go cruising on a sailboat to Australia with my Auzzie wife, Sue.  I remember him inviting me into his office to question me.  Not why was I leaving and would I stay, but  how was I dealing with the decision to leave security behind and going on to do something entirely different?

When I returned to Alaska a few years later to work on some project or another, (as I often did) he invited me back to his office to talk about what adventures I had had. Again, he was always interested.

It was during these conversations, I recall him telling me of his dream to involve himself in helping others around the world with a mission effort instead of being a CEO of Alaska.   I remember being surprised that here was a man at the top of his game, leading one of the best airlines in the country, now talking about doing something entirely different with his life. He was still formulating exactly what it would be, but it was inspiring to see someone with so much talent, working towards a change to help others, rather than just create more ASMs.
 
At the time, I sensed he was struggling with the decision, and he was very curious about the process I went through in choosing change.   I encouraged him, not that he needed any help from me, but I wanted him to know the decision making was the hardest part of the process, after that, it was easy.

My last conversation with Bruce was at an Alaska Leadership conference 3 years ago where he sought me out across the room to ask after me and Sue, and then share with pride his most recent project of building an aircraft to serve missions in remote areas in the world.  We talked about New Guinea, where we had both been.  I had been having adventures, but he was creating something to make a difference in these peoples lives.  You just had to admire that. 

So now he is gone. What a loss for his family and all of us!  But he left behind a legacy that matters in this world, and he lives on in our fond memories.

Bruce, you definitely will be missed by those lucky enough to have known you.  You will never forgotten for the positive impact you have had on so many of our lives.  Close
A man of Honor  / Susannah Allen (ASA Flight Attendant )  Read >>
A man of Honor  / Susannah Allen (ASA Flight Attendant )
Bruce Kennedy was the spirit of Alaska Airlines!!! I was hired under his leadership. He was a man of integrity and character . He served as a great example and I was able to meet him once on one of my flights and he was a true gentleman. I know he will be greatly missed by so many as he touched hundreds of lives. He left a legacy that will never be forgotten. Close
A Great friend  / Ed Carver (Friend)  Read >>
A Great friend  / Ed Carver (Friend)
I served with Bruce for 6 years on the General Assembly Council of the Presbyterian Church USA.  I had the highest regard for his Christian dedication, his ideas and leadership of our denomination. We have kept up with each other through many e-mails which kept me abreast of all the great things Bruce was doing.  We thought Bruce was living well with his disease. He was enduring without complaint (that I knew of).  What a tragic accident to such a skilled pilot and great man.  Surely the golden gates of heaven have swung wide for a most remarkable man - Bruce Kennedy.  We offer our condolences and prayers to his wonderful family.
Norean and Ed Carver Close
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