Founder/President Emeritus Air Serv International / Bob Lehnhart (Fellow board member of Air Serv International )Read >>
Founder/President Emeritus Air Serv International / Bob Lehnhart (Fellow board member of Air Serv International )
Bruce was a serious-minded board member of Air Serv, a non-sectarian humanitarian NGO that was the major flight-services provider to the international relief/development community serving in the famine/war areas of Africa.
Although, he was the president of Alaska Airlines, Bruce was very careful not to confuse his personal committment to Air Serv with his role as president of Alaska Airlines. Even though Air Serv's important ministry was the saving of hundreds of thousands of lives through the efforts of the scores of agencies it transported into the war/famine areas, Bruce would not take advantage of his access to power within the airline to benefit Air Serv without going through the normal management channels where others, without his personal interest and committment, would deal with it.
In my experience, this is somewhat rare, and is indicative of Bruce's integrity and desire to steer clear of any abuse of power--even for so called good causes.
I found Bruce, although a friend, a tough but fair board member--the kind every CEO needs. Close
A Life Well Lived / Jeff Cacy (Alaska Retiree )
Bruce was an inspiring leader, and a generous man. I always considered him a friend and mentor from my first days working with him in Fairbanks, my hometown. My heartfelt thanks for the legacy this kind and faithful man left his family, community, business enterprises and admiring collegues. He modeled integrity and leadership in a quiet and powerful way. He gifted us all with his well lived life. Close
My heartfelt condolences / Karen Riess
To the Family: I am writing a short note to offer my heartfelt sympathy and prayers to all of you. Kevin, you were a classmate of my daughter, Maria, and Karleen you taught my son, Jerry the latter half of his 3rd year in school at Seattle Christian. Karin, unfortunately I never had the privelege of meeting you. Your entire family has shown forth the love of Christ and what it means to truly care for others. This world is a little more empty without Bruce but the love and compassion he showed others in the Name of Christ will love forever. May God keep you safe under His wings and may family and friends bring you much comfort.
He had a way of remember the little things... / Patrick Brady (Friend)
I saw Bruce during a meeting of his Presbyterian General Assembly work group about 5 years ago. I hadn't seen him since about 1985. My contact with him was through John Knox Presbyterian while I worked at the Church. During that time he was very welcoming to me and once invited me to have lunch with him at the Executive Offices of AS. I also have found memories of an outing he arraigned for young people of the Church at Speiden Island in the San Juans and the dedication he and Karin had for people coming to America to start their new lives.
At the Retreat where I later saw him, he recognized me right away and asked me how I had recently spent my birthday. He and I share the same birthday and after not seeing him for nearly 20 years that was the thing he remembered. It really touched me when I first got to know him that he would think that Oct 11th would be a day that would connect us.... and that many years later we could still share a smile over that special bond.
May God Bless to us the memory of his servant, Bruce Close
A true Christian Man / Don Rickel (former employ )
Though we will miss his life, his leadership, his deeds, Bruce is now in the loving care of Jesus Christ. He was a mentor to me and showed how men of business could be leaders of true Christian character. My prayers are with his family and to those who knew him. He was the example of doing Christ's work on earth. You will be greatly missed, Bruce. Close
A Letter To Bruce / Jacqueline Vo (Sponsored by Bruce )Read >>
A Letter To Bruce / Jacqueline Vo (Sponsored by Bruce )
Since the day we arrived in 1981, you always helped us. You brought the light to us when we were at the end of the tunnel. We could not have been successful in finding a steady life here in the US without your landing hand. I will never forget the moment when you escorted me down the aisle in one of the most important day of my life. I still remember when the Pastor asked me about my respect for you and I answered, Bruce is like a father figure to me. Upon hearing my replied, you immedeately said that it makes you feel old, your preference would have been to be looked at as a brother. I said no and insisted on holding you with the highest level of respect. You smile and said "Then I will be an old man". Bill has always looked up to you as a role model because he sees that you are so humble and gracious. I have often experienced your generosity through the countless life lessons and many useful advices that you have bestowed upon me. One of which was to just be myself and always love other. As of today, I still applied your wisdom and advices into my daily living. Not only are you our sponsor, you are looked upon as a best friend and considered as a closest relative. From the bottom of our hearts: Thank you and we will all missed you, as you find peace with our father in Heaven.
A decisive leader / David Marriott (former Alaska employee )
I worked with Bruce for five years during the beginning of the expansion south and into the Arctic and Prudhoe Bay. Deregulation was an interesting time for Alaska and all airlines. Many paid the price for overambitious expansion. But Bruce's thoughtful, decisive leadership put the airline in a position to be where it is today. Bruce was a great mentor, effective leader. I am honored to have worked with him. Close
An Inspiring Man / Tim Doke (Employee/Friend)
Working for Bruce was inspiring, not typical in a business career. He made you care and strive to do your best. I'm saddened by his untimely passing and my heart goes out to Karleen and his family. Bruce reminded me of the poet's words: "Through such people as you God speaks, and from behind your eyes He smiles down upon the earth." Close
Thank You / Ron Altier (A brief Acquantance )Read >>
Thank You / Ron Altier (A brief Acquantance )
This tribute to Bruce Kennedy and thank you to Karleen Kennedy is a letter I should have written 18 years ago. It was in September of 1989 that Karleen brought Cuong Chung into the Human Resources office of Jorgensen Forge and assisted him to fill out a job applicaton. Cuong was interviewed and hired as a helper. Today, 18 years later Cuong is a journey level, precision machinist and a terrific employee. In 2005 the company was fortunate to also hire Cuong's twin brother, Thiem. At the time that I hired Cuong on his first day of work, I asked him how he had heard of Jorgensen Forge and found the Company. Cuong told me of the Kennedy family and how his family and other immigrant families had lived with the Kennedys and received their help to get a foothold in their new Country. He also told me that the lady that had assisted him with his application was Mrs. Kennedy and of her and her husband's affiliation with Alaska Airlines. Although it was a short discussion, I must tell you that I found it to be a very moving and inspirational conversation. None of us meet many successful, busy people that make so much room in their lives for others the way I believe Bruce and Karleen have. I retold Cuong's story many times to friends and family. It wasn't until years later, in 2005, when Jorgensen Forge hosted an open house for employees, that Cuong and Thiem brought Bruce and Karleen with them to tour the plant and show them where they worked. It was then that I had the pleasure of making their acquantance in a brief conversation. My Thanks to Bruce and Karleen for their good works and their inspiration to others like me. Close
Our sympathies / David And Judy Palmer (former employee )Read >>
Our sympathies / David And Judy Palmer (former employee )
Bruce was a mentor, a leader, and a great example of living the exempory life. Without his leadership it is doubtful that Alaska Airlines would still be the independant and great airline it is today.
His legacy will live on through the many many lives he touched. Close
A Great Man, gifted to earth by God. / Brad Scheevel (Family Friend )
What a privilege to have known Bruce Kennedy. As a kid going to school with Kevin and Karin, I knew Mr. Kennedy as an important business man who made sure Bible Verses were put in every meal on Alaska Air flights. As a young man I was made more aware of the generosity of the Kennedy family at home and abroad, and my respect grew with that knowledge. As an adult, to know Bruce as a man of God, dedicated to the active use of his talents in ministry, in ways that only he could pull off. I saw Bruce last year at a Pinnacle Forum gathering in Bellevue, where we caught up on our families for a few minutes. Since then, it has been exciting to follow the Qwest Air project, sharing the excitement, and watching the dream come to life. We are blessed to remember him in so many good ways, having been touched and blessed by the legacy of his life. Val, Carli, Caleb and I send our prayers to all of the family, particularly the grandchildren who will miss some of the blessing that would have been Bruce's shared life with them. As with any "Great Life" cut short in our eyes, we know that the work of our Savior has not been lost in his life. God's eternal ministry must have needed a Great leader for Bruce to have been taken so suddenly: We look forward to seeing that work in process on our own arrival to heaven one day. I would expect that it may have something to do with teaching others how to fly... Best wishes and all of our prayers to the family, Brad and Val Scheevel. Close
Deepest Sympathy / Paul And Nancy Frith (Fairbanks friends )
Nancy and I are saddened to hear of Bruce's passing, and we extend our deepest sympathy to you, Karleen, and to Kevin and Karin as well.
We all met, along with the Osterdocks, at Sunday School in Fairbanks in 1971. Osterdocks and Friths became best friends, with Dennis and Paul constantly plotting to accomplish great things in life. The model for all our efforts, now I look back on it, was undoubtedly Bruce. He was the epitome of integrity. It is easy to sell one's soul to achieve "success". Bruce lived his corporate and personal life in such a way that we have all become better human beings as a result.
We have a special connection to Bruce in that Nancy and I share his passion for flying. Both of us are pilots, since the mid-sixties, and our "retirement" includes a Super Cub equipped for the Alaska Bush. We know firsthand why Bruce was drawn to flight. To those who might wonder why Bruce was drawn to flight let us reassure you, Karleen, that we know why..and so do you.
I've been following the development of the Qwest Kodiak. It will be a valuable addition to missionary work around the world, and Bruce's leadership in making it a success is a fitting legacy.
We've explained to our loved ones that God is in charge of this spiritual walk of ours. We just keep on trying to do what we think is expected of us. Bruce did the same and boy, did he do it well! We will never forget him.
You will be missed. / Christi Gillis (Flight Attendant/ Alaska Air )Read >>
You will be missed. / Christi Gillis (Flight Attendant/ Alaska Air )
May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face. May the rain fall soft upon your fields, and until we meet again may the lord hold you in the palm of his hand.
Bruce was a wonderful, special person, he will be missed.
Prayers from Sunnyvale / Dave &. Judy Beggs (Friends of Karin )Read >>
Prayers from Sunnyvale / Dave &. Judy Beggs (Friends of Karin )
We did not have the pleasure of knowing Bruce but we feel that we know part of him through our new friendship with Karin. We are praying for Karin and her family. We are praying that the comfort they receive from God will be sufficient for them to comfort those around them, and the strength they receive from Him will allow them to emerge into the sunlight on the other side of the valley. Close
CSA Alaska retired / JERRY OLSON (employee)
I would like to express my condolences to the family and friends of Mr Kennedy. As an employee I chanced to meet him but once and was impressed by his sincere approach and Christian values. Close
Friend/ Sue And Howard Nye (Friend)
God’s greatest blessing has been our family’s friendship with each of you, Bruce, Karleen, Kevin and Karin. It’s been a good walk and a great adventure. Who can ever forget Bucko? We’ve laughed and cried, had fun, been challenged. You brought the international world to our door steps and new friends to numerous to count. And we didn’t even have to go through “security”! God has been so good! Bruce, you’re in our hearts forever. We love you all. Thanks for the many, many memories. Love Sue and Howard Close
Thank you / Jeff Fregger (Friend of Karin )Read >>
Thank you / Jeff Fregger (Friend of Karin )
Our thoughts and prayers are with those of you who knew and loved Bruce best. We take comfort in the knowledge that the love and compassion Bruce shared with you and with the world continues to work miricles. Bruce's love of Christ and passion for humanity is magnified in our life through our association with his daughter Karin. Thank you Bruce for sharing your love and your children with us.
Even His departing speaks louder / Paul Idusogie, Sr. (None)Read >>
Even His departing speaks louder / Paul Idusogie, Sr. (None)
There are few who leave an indelible impression upon our conscience, yet few that provide the impetus to forge across the frontiers of life. I did no know his man, but I bear witness through the myriad messages that he had the Master's touch.
Attimes the legacy we leave behind for others to soar by, can only gain lift and endeared testimonies after the departing of the testator.
a caring man / Scheline Horton( Wright) (ALASKA AIRLINES EMPLOYEE )Read >>
a caring man / Scheline Horton( Wright) (ALASKA AIRLINES EMPLOYEE )
Having been with Alaska since 1976, I have had many encounters with Mr. Kennedy. Where to start. There was the time around 1980 when I got his non rev positive space ticket mixed in the middle of the pile of non rev stand by tickets and put on low priority standbys and not him. Horrified this was the end of my carear, he simply said "mistakes happen" smiled and reassured me it was ok. There was the numerous times at the Seattle ticket counter he would come behind the counter and talk with everyone as if we were all friends. I had a friend in 1981 who needed a heart transplant and I was raising money by collecting pop cans. Mr. Kennedy authorized and allowed me to collect the pop cans off the a/cs , at the coporate office, res office , hanger and even an iglo was authorized to bring cans collected in Ktn to Seattle. Mr. Kennedy not only allowed this, but sent me a contribution from his personal account for my friend with a very inspirational and touching personal note. That kindness ment so much to me during those difficult days. Most importantly he was someone who lived out his faith. I was so amazed when he retired to be a missionary. I still remember the headlines "CEO OF ALASKA AIRLINES STEPS DOWN TO SERVE CHRIST." He was a successful business man doing the most important work of all. Serving our Lord and not hiding it, but being proud to let the world know. I know his family will miss him terribly during the day to day routine of this life. But what a comfort to know, it is only for a little. Mrs.Kennedy, may Gods comfort be abundant on you and your children and grand children as you await your heavenly reunions. Close