Bruce Kennedy
(1938-2007)
Memorial website in the memory of your loved one
Tributes and Condolences
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Magnitude of our loss...  / Matthew Coder (Employee of Alaska Airilnes )  Read >>
Magnitude of our loss...  / Matthew Coder (Employee of Alaska Airilnes )
I do believe, that as the shock wears off - we at Alaska Airlines will begin to understand the magnitude of our loss.  At the time that Ron and Bruce came into the Alaska Airlines picture - it was a ratty airline (with fiercely loyal and wonderful employees), with mountains of debt, just a handful of sub-leased aircraft and a reputation for good, yet undependable service.  

From that - over the years with Bruce at the helm as CEO and later on the Board of Directors for all of those years - he is the one leader who oversaw the development of that ratty little airilne into what it is today.  There is no other single person who has had such a dramatic influence on shaping this wonderful company.

It is a dark day for us as we mourn the loss of Bruce - but there are thousands of Alaska Airlines employees who share a sentiment, one of gratitude.  Thank you Bruce and the Kennedy family - for creating something so amazing for thousands of present, past and future employees of Alaska Airlines!  I know Bruce has touched many in his personal life - he has certainly affected thousands upon thousands in his professional life!  Godpseed. Close
Thank you for all you've done  / Uyjien Ung (family friend's son )  Read >>
Thank you for all you've done  / Uyjien Ung (family friend's son )
I never knew Mr. Kennedy that well, but what him and his family did for mine just shows the humility and generosity that people are capable of. My condolences to the Kennedy family. Thank you, you will be missed Close
You always have time for a customer  / Todd Wallace (retired Alaska employee )  Read >>
You always have time for a customer  / Todd Wallace (retired Alaska employee )
I had the privelage to start my 30 plus airline career with Alaska Airlines and Bruce Kennedy as our leader. It is because of the outstanding work and clear leadership direction given by Bruce in those yearly years that Alaska is where it is today.  I rememebr being in Purdhoe Bay Alaska with Bruce and the Alaska crew and Bruce wanted to leave our camp and walk across the street at minus 30 to visit an Alaska customer KOH. The group stated we will call for the crew bus to come get us and stay warm...Not Bruce he said " let's walk." ...Well, when Bruce left we all left..However, we all ran across as it was way to cold to walk. . In the end he visited the customer and thanked them for their business with Alaska Airlines...My thoughts and prayers are with the Kennedy family.
You will never know how many lives were touched by Bruce he really made the world a better place.. Close
Bruce Kennedy, a role model in all walks of life  / Jonathan Campbell (family friend )  Read >>
Bruce Kennedy, a role model in all walks of life  / Jonathan Campbell (family friend )

I grew up going to the same church as the Kennedy’s. Bruce was an important role model and mentor to me. During my fragile teenage years, Bruce invited me to fly with him to two different memorable Pacific Northwest locations. I was honored to receive such an invitation. During our time on the ground, Bruce talked with me about my plans for the future and in particular my plans about college selection. In part because of Bruce I selected to attend St. Olaf college, a college rooted in the Gospel and convicted in the idea that life is more than just a livelihood. As many have mentioned, Bruce was a man who sought first the Kingdom of God. He led by serving others.

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With Great Respect  / Teresa Messina (employee)  Read >>
With Great Respect  / Teresa Messina (employee)
I met Mr. Kennedy in 1987 which was the transition from Jet America-Alaska Airlines. I was very impressed by his social graces, he was very approachable and was interested in our feelings with the experience. We crossed paths months later while I was working a trip, I couldn't believe that he remembered my name as well as our first meeting. I knew then he was a special individual! The Lord has a special place for him. I will never forget him.
Respectfully,
Teresa Messina  Close
Respected & Admired throughout the Industry  / Tim Walker (Airline Industry (retired) )  Read >>
Respected & Admired throughout the Industry  / Tim Walker (Airline Industry (retired) )
Among all the colleagues I worked with Mr. Kennedy was highly regarded and respected.  Although we never met, I followed his life and witness through the press and Christian articles. 

Personally I appreciated him getting those "Thanksgiving Notes" with a Bible verse put on each meal tray. That gave me courage to tell of my faith in Christ with seat mates. I collected them and used them as bookmarks and on other airline flights was sometimes able to use them to begin a conversation about God.

His example of living openly for Christ in the business world and being a man of integrity without compromise (and also politeness and kindness as I heard from AS employees) was many times an encouragement in my life. Close
An Amazing Leader  / Dave Brucia (Former Employee AS )  Read >>
An Amazing Leader  / Dave Brucia (Former Employee AS )
1984. I was hired as DSM in BOI and the community welcomed us with a Chamber luncheon. Bruce took the time to introduce all the AS team. But what happened afterward remains in my heart.

After the luncheon we left in a pouring rain. My wife Linda and I raced to our car to avoid the downpour. Then we heard a light knock on our car window. It was Bruce, standing there in the pouring rain, getting soaked. He extended his hand and told us both that if we ever needed anything, just let him know. He thanked my wife for supporting me in the move. He had left the entourage behind to encourage us! I knew then that this was a man of leaderhip, caring and appreciation. That lesson has stayed with me, and I am honored to have worked with him. Close
The true Spirit of Alaska Airlines  / Michael Stowell (Alaska Airlines Employee )  Read >>
The true Spirit of Alaska Airlines  / Michael Stowell (Alaska Airlines Employee )
While I never had the chance to meet Bruce, his loss has been a sad event. In the days following this tragic event, you can't go an hour without hearing a story or a fond memory that Bruce was a part of. All of the stories and memories have made me feel like I knew him myself. Not only has his passing been a loss to the aviation community and to the world, but Alaska has lost one of our own. I wish him peace and serenity now that he is with our heavenly father, and I offer his family strength, and my deepest sympathies. 

Always, 
Michael Stowell
Alaska Airlines   Close
A Gift to the World  / Ted And Gloria Lomax (Friend)  Read >>
A Gift to the World  / Ted And Gloria Lomax (Friend)
Bruce was a gift to the world and all who had the privilege to know him.  We became friends of the Kennedys through our shared involvement in refugee resettlement.  Among our favorite "Bruce" memories is hiking on Mt. Rainier and delighting in the amazement of Vietnamese and Cambodian friends who were experiencing snow for the first time; and riding in Chet Thomas's truck for several days on bumpy roads in Honduras as we visited village community development projects.

Almost every Sunday, after attending 1st Service with a brightly dressed Sudanese grandmother (who spoke no English and whose family the Kennedys sponsored), Bruce came to the end of the English as a 2nd Language Bible Class so ably taught by Karleen.  Bruce, through his interest, warm hugs and handshakes, conveyed to each one of these former refugees his/her special value as a person.

An Eskimo friend, who made his living fishing,  honored Bruce by air mailing to him his first salmon caught in the new season.  The Kennedy's impromptu salmon dinner was shared with friends, but we were unable to join them.  The next day Bruce delivered to our door a large salmon filet, the most delicious we have eaten.

Bruce and Ted bonded through their mutual love of airplanes and aeronautical technology was their favorite topic of conversation.  Bruce had the ability to converse with all kinds of people because he not only cared for and accepted people, but also saw potential wherever they were in life.

With grief, we say "goodbye" to a wonderful friend whom we think will continue to be used of God from the Heavenly Realm to impact this world. Close
Publisher, Alaska Airlines Magazine and Horizon Air Magazine  / Mimi Kirsch (publisher of Alaska Airlines Magazine )  Read >>
Publisher, Alaska Airlines Magazine and Horizon Air Magazine  / Mimi Kirsch (publisher of Alaska Airlines Magazine )
Bruce Kennedy was an inspirational leader. He was a kind and good man who lived his faith and embodied Alaska Airline's core values. It was an honor to have worked with him. Close
A Life Well Lived  / Bruce And Tina LaLonde (Former Alaska Employee and Friend )  Read >>
A Life Well Lived  / Bruce And Tina LaLonde (Former Alaska Employee and Friend )

With shock and deep sadness we learned of Bruce's passing.  Our hearts are filled with sorrow and our prayers go out to Karleen and the rest of the family.  Bruce set the standard as a leader, friend and mentor.   His personal guidance was a huge encouragement to me throughout my career with Alaska Airlines.   I will deeply miss his friendship, but will always hold him in my heart as an example of a leader who knew how to serve.
Bruce LaLonde

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Thank You Bruce!  / Gary Bustin (President, Samaritan Aviation )  Read >>
Thank You Bruce!  / Gary Bustin (President, Samaritan Aviation )



I was deeply saddened to hear of Bruce's accident. I had the privilege of meeting him on a couple of occasions and remember having the feeling that I was in the presence of greatness.

His work through Quest will benefit the lives of millions of villagers throughout the world who will receive food, medical treatment, and most importantly, the Message of Salvation.

On behalf of our organization and all those who will benefit for years to come from Bruce's efforts, I would like to say...Thank You Bruce!


 

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a mentor for life  / Lin Roberts (former Alaska Airlines employee )  Read >>
a mentor for life  / Lin Roberts (former Alaska Airlines employee )

Bruce was one of the most charismatic men I'd ever met. He truly was interested in others and sincerely meant it when he asked "how are you".  The passion for everything he did in life was and is evident. He was on the quest for perfection in all his endeavours.
Alaska Airlines flourished under his leadership because of his fabulous people skills, his empathy and concern towards all groups and because of his incredible ethics. He was a mentor to many and we are all better people for knowing him.  I know I am.
My thoughts are with you all ~ Lin

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all things work together for good  / James Kiawu &. Family (Family friend )  Read >>
all things work together for good  / James Kiawu &. Family (Family friend )
But we know that all things work together for good to them that love God. To those who are the called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

While I don’t understand every detail of why Bruce left us at this time, I believe that there is a greater glory to God from his death. In John Chapter 11, Mary and Martha sent a message to the Lord concerning their ailing brother Lazarus, saying “Lord him whom thou lovest is sick”. That chapter makes clear that the Lord loved Mary, Martha and Lazarus. In fact it was that Mary who poured the perfume and wiped the Lord’s feet with her hair, in worship. Indeed theirs was a family of worshipers. So then how could the Lord love someone and that person fall sick unto death? On receiving that news of Lazarus predicament, the Lord did not show up on “time” which could have led to a lot questions from Mary & Martha… Why Lord? Why us? Aren’t we friends? Haven’t we worshiped you? Lazarus eventually died before the Lord came. But in John 11:4, the Lord said it happened that the Father might be glorified. Lazarus’ death brought glory to the Lord. In John 11:45, it says many put their faith in the Lord after Lazarus’ resurrection.
Bruce’s death has brought and will continue to bring greater glory to the Lord.

I knew Bruce and here is what I found out; He was a friend to the friendless, gave food to hungry, provided shelter to the homeless, clothing to the naked. He gave himself to the service of the Lord, and others without regard to class, culture, or national origin. What an EXAMPLE  he was.

May the Lord comfort his family. May the Lord strengthen his wife Karleen, and children, Karin and Kevin as they go this period of grief. Indeed weeping may endure for night but joy comes in morning.


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Manager of Research & Development for Mission Aviation Fellowship International  / Max Gove (MAF Colleague from UK )  Read >>
Manager of Research & Development for Mission Aviation Fellowship International  / Max Gove (MAF Colleague from UK )

I was greatly shocked at hearing the news this last weekend about Bruce's very unexpected death and my heart goes out to his family at this time. Humanly speaking his death does not make sense but we know that God will continue to bring great good out of Bruce's life and witness.

During the period that I was CEO of MAF Europe & UK (1991 -1995) I met and worked with Bruce on a number of occasions at MAF Board Meetings. He always impressed me with his easy-going yet very firm style of leadership which was overlaid with his wonderful Christian character. I loved his warm personality and clear sense of direction. 

The news that he had taken on Chairmanship of the Kodiak project was a great encouragement because I knew that it was in excellent hands. The outcome of that project alone will be felt by many suffering people in remote locations the world over and many will come into God's kingdom as an indirect result of Bruce's efforts.

A lovely man, sorely missed by many around the world!

God bless you, Karleen and your family as you mourn. May you find comfort in the arms of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Warm regards

Max

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nore to Karin...  / Emily, Jason, Anna And Taylor Huff (friend of Karin's from Seattle )  Read >>
nore to Karin...  / Emily, Jason, Anna And Taylor Huff (friend of Karin's from Seattle )
Dear Karin,
We are so sorry to hear about the loss of your father. As you gather to celebrate the life of your dad, may your memories become gifts of comfort and blessings to treasure. May God's peace that passes understanding truly guard your hearts and minds in this time.

With heartfelt sympathy,
Emily, Jason, Anna and Taylor Huff


p.s. We have been in Nashville, TN almost three years as Jason is working on his PhD at Vanderbilt in education policy.




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Leadership / Bill Ayer (Friend and co-worker )  Read >>
Leadership / Bill Ayer (Friend and co-worker )
Bruce quietly created the standard for 'ethical leadership' decades before the term became fashionable. His strong personal values and advice to "do what you believe is right, not what you get credit for" provided us great clarity, especially when the going got tough. Bruce was a class act- an outstanding leader, mentor and most importantly, a friend. I cherished our time together and I will deeply miss him. Close
A letter of condolence to Bruce's Family  / Christine Hejmanowski (My Daughter-in-law is Karin )  Read >>
A letter of condolence to Bruce's Family  / Christine Hejmanowski (My Daughter-in-law is Karin )
I first met Bruce Kennedy in 2002 when my son, Kenneth Hejmanowski, wed Bruce and Karleen's daughter, Karin.  I had the pleasure of spending holidays with the Kennedy family, and celebrating memorable events with them such as Karin's Ordination into the church.  The Kennedy family is  warm, caring and generous to all who know them.  Bruce will be missed by all who knew him.  I am blessed that my son Ken, married Karin and that I had a chance to know Bruce and all the Kennedy family and friends.  I send my sincerest condolences to the Kennedy family.
Sincerely,
Christine Hejmanwski Close
Just a few thoughts  / Dave Scheevel (Friend)  Read >>
Just a few thoughts  / Dave Scheevel (Friend)
Being able to list my relationship to Bruce as "friend" is a real  privilege for me. Oh yes, I knew him as a business and charitable leader and giver, but counting him as my friend was far more important.

Bruce exemplified Christ in every aspect of his life, not something seen all that often today. I never saw him compromise his values for any reason. A servant's heart would best describe my friend, Bruce.He lived his life as a channel of God's blessing to others, putting their needs first. 

Bruce's contributions to the cause of Christ are his lasting legacy, and many will be in the Kingdom because of him. He will be missed by many, but remembered well by all who knew him. 

Memories of the good times we shared as families will be a teasure I continue to hold. I look forward to seeing Bruce in Heaven one day. 

My prayer is for God's comfort and strength for the family at this time of loss here, knowing there is rejoicing in Heaven over his arrival home.     

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Condolence / Connie Ziebell (Former Alaska Employee )  Read >>
Condolence / Connie Ziebell (Former Alaska Employee )
Sincere sympathy to the Kennedy family.  Bruce will be remembered by many who worked with and for him. Close
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