Bruce Kendall was larger than life

July 14, 2012 

Bruce Byers Kendall was born Feb. 28, 1919, in Martinsburg, Neb.

He left home at an early age, and at 16 worked on a merchant ship that sailed to many parts of the world.

He moved to Alaska in 1939, where he married Mae McCabe and had two children. He also had four daughters from previous marriages back in Iowa.

Bruce Kendall was a successful Alaska businessman and owned several hotels in Anchorage. He was also active in Alaska politics. He served in the first few Alaska legislatures as a representative. He was elected minority leader in the House from 1959 to 1963, and was elected speaker of the house in 1963-1964. He was speaker during the 1964 Alaska earthquake and was instrumental in Alaska's recovery. He worked closely with his friend and colleague, former Gov. Bill Egan.

Bruce Kendall was known as an effective leader as a legislator and as a hard-working businessman. His projects were many, including the Iditarod Dog Sled Race for which he co-signed a loan so that it could begin with a successful start. He lived and worked in Alaska for over 50 years.

Bruce Kendall was a unique, generous and optimistic man. He was, and will be, remembered as larger than life. The Alaska Governor's Office issued a statement and lowered the flag on July 11, 2012, to honor his many years of service to Alaska.

He passed away July 6, 2012, in Napa, Calif. at the age of 93.

Visit the online memorial at legacy.com

Anchorage Daily News is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service