News releases

Bruce R. Kennedy Family Issues Statement About Cashmere, Wash., Plane Crash

The family of Bruce R. Kennedy, including his wife, Karleen Kennedy of Burien, Wash., issued the following statement about his apparent death June 28 in a private plane crash in the north-central Washington town of Cashmere:

"Thursday evening we learned that a plane matching the description of that of my husband had crashed at the Cashmere, Wash., airport and that the pilot had been killed. Bruce had filed a flight plan for Wenatchee, where he looked forward to visiting his grandchildren. His flight plan had not been closed as expected.

"Learning of the crash in Cashmere, my son, Kevin, drove to the airport to view the crash site. We have every reason to believe the plane was Bruce's Cessna 182.

"Bruce had flown to Sandpoint, Idaho, to visit Quest Aircraft, of which he was proud to be chairman of the Board of Trustees. From Sandpoint, he flew to Hot Springs, Mont., one of his favorite aviation destinations. From there, his final flight was to take him to Wenatchee via Cashmere.

"While we are deeply saddened by the loss of someone we love and admire so much, we rejoice in the knowledge that Bruce is united with his Lord Jesus and take comfort in the fact that he died doing something he loved and in which he took great pleasure. We thank God for the 68 years that God lent him to us, the 42 years he was my husband, and the 39 years he was father to our children.

"Bruce served at the time of his death as chairman of Quest Aircraft Company. Quest was formed in 2000 for the purpose of designing and manufacturing aircraft to serve the needs of mission and humanitarian flying in challenging parts of the world, as well as for commercial sales. The Kodiak, a turbine-powered, single-engine plane being produced at Quest's Sandpoint plant, is on the brink of receiving type certificate from the FAA.

"Kennedy served at Alaska Airlines and its predecessor company for 32 years in management positions, including 12 years as chairman, chief executive officer and president. He continued to serve on the board of directors of Alaska Air Group, Inc., after his early retirement from the company in 1991.

"Kennedy also served on the board of trustees of Crista Ministries, Lynnwood, Wash. He was a member of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA for six years and served on the board of Mission Aviation Fellowship for 15 years, eight as chair, during his tenure at and since his early retirement from Alaska Airlines. He also served on the boards of other Christian organizations. He was awarded honorary degrees from both Seattle Pacific University and his alma mater, University of Alaska.

"Kennedy was born in Denver on Oct. 11, 1938. His family moved to Alaska during his high school years. Even though he returned 'Outside' for several years, his heart remained in the 49th state and he returned there to graduate from the University of Alaska. He received his commission as an artillery officer and served his tour of duty at Fort Wainwright, Alaska.

"During his army tour, he married Karleen Isaacson from Roseville, Calif., and they made their first home in Fairbanks. Their two children, Kevin (wife, Kelley) and Karin (husband, Ken) Hejmanowski were born there. He is also survived and loved by two grandchildren, Hallie and Braden Kennedy."

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SOURCE: The family of Bruce R. Kennedy

CONTACT: Alaska Airlines Corporate Communications, +1-206-392-5101, for
the family of Bruce R. Kennedy