Kenneth E. Bryant
1934 ~ 2022
Captain Kenneth E. Bryant, age 88, died June 03, 2022, the end of a five-year health struggle after a major stroke and multiple heart attacks. At the time of his death Ken and his wife resided in an Adult Retirement/Hospice facility in Kent, Washington.
Ken was born in Oklahoma. He was raised by his mother as an only child. Ken once lamented that he attended twenty-two schools in eleven states. After high school Ken enlisted in the U.S. Navy and during the standard battery of tests his scores highlighted him as a potential candidate for the USN Aviation Cadet (NAVCAD) Pilot program.
After some enlisted duty Ken entered flight training at NAS Pensacola. Apparently, he met the challenges and earned his Naval Commission and ‘Wings of Gold.’ During flight training Ken flew the T-28 and toward the end of training the F4U Corsair for initial carrier qualification. The Corsair was an infamous challenge for young inexperienced pilots doing their Carrier Quals.
During his active-duty time with the fleet Ken flew the Grumman F9F Cougar fighter. In addition, there was a military marriage that produced a son, this marriage eventually dissolved.
Keith L. Sterling
1941 ~ 2022
Keith L. Sterling, age 81, of Fort Myers, FL (formerly of Apple Valley, MN), passed away on Oct. 5, 2022. His parents were Robert and Suzie Sterling. Keith’s father worked in the Lab at Penn Steel in Titusville, PA and owned a small Evinrude/Boat repair shop.
The family lived in Titusville PA during Keith’s high school years. Titusville is located 45 miles southeast of Lake Erie and half that distance from the west edge of Allegheny National Forest, where no doubt Keith delighted in hunting, fishing, and camping with family and friends
After high school Keith studied Electrical Engineering at Grove City College, PA while concurrently completing Air Force ROTC. After college graduation and Air Force commissioning, Keith reported for pilot training at Craig AFB, AL. Keith had a most unusual Air Force career in that after earning his wings, he was assigned to Air Training Command as an instructor pilot at the same base where he himself had been trained. The entirety of his Air Force flying was done in the T-37 and T-38 trainer aircraft.
1937 ~ 2022
Captain Robert Kunold, age 84, passed away on Veterans Day, 2022. Born in Los Angeles, CA on December 7, 1937. He had one younger sibling - a sister Joni. Bob graduated from Cantwell High School in Whittier, CA with the class of 1955. He was respected as an athlete playing football and member of the swimming team.
Bob worked at the family-owned liquor store while putting himself through college. He graduated with a BS degree in Physics from California State Polytechnic University - Pomona (CalPoly). About the same time, he charmed his future wife Carol Jean Appy into eloping and launching a marriage that lasted sixty-one years.
Immediately following these events, Bob entered the U.S. Navy Aviation Officer Candidate Program. Although Bob’s USN career was comparatively brief, the Navy taught him to fly and to be an officer; both played a major role in his life. After earning his ‘Wings of Gold,’ Bob was assigned to VP-1 at NAS Whidbey Island, WA. VP-1 was a ‘patrol squadron’ flying the Lockheed P2V-Neptune. This squadron shared rotation schedules with VP-2, VP-17, and VP-42 at Whidbey. At any given time two of the squadrons were deployed to NAS Adak in the Aleutians or USMC Iwakuni in Japan.
Dennis A. Bertness
1937 ~ 2022
Captain Dennis A. Bertness, age 85, passed away at home with his wife by his side holding her hand. Denny was hired by Northwest Airlines on May, 06, 1968.
Dennis graduated from Walker High School, Walker, MN. He spent 11 years in the Air Force (SAC) as a pilot flying air refuelers. He flew for Northwest Airlines for 29 years, retiring as a 747 Captain.
Dennis had a major stroke in July 2019. Since then, he had been cared for 24-7 by his wife of 62 years. In the last months he developed cancer. We will all miss his laugh, many jokes, and stories.
Preceded in death by his parents Marvin and Winifred; twin sister, Deanna Murray; brother, Leigh Bertness; step-mother, Carol Bertness. Survived by wife, Margaret (Margo); daughter, Carrie (Bryan) Hopson; son, Brian (Jody); grandson, Nick Bertness; granddaughter, Tori (Cory) Soller; grandson, Aaron Kapke; great-grandchilden, Ava and Gage Bertness, Marshall, Clair, and Hannah Soller; sisters-in-law, Mary Agnes Miksch and Sylvia Trahan; nephews and nieces.
Private Interment at Fort Snelling National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial preferred to Mary Mother of the Church, Burnsville, MN.
(- Bertness family)
J. Philip Pattie
1935 ~ 2022
Captain James Philip ‘Phil’ Pattie, age 86, passed away October 5, 2022, in Mesa, AZ. Phil was born in Marshalltown, Iowa, on November 7, 1935, the son of James Warren Pattie and Helen Ruth Wilkinson Pattie. His end of life came quickly, he attended a concert on Saturday and died the following Wednesday - succumbing to prostate cancer.
Phil attended Marshalltown (Iowa) High School where he played basketball. He spent a year at the local community college and then was off to the University of Iowa where he studied Political Science and was a member of Delta Upsilon fraternity. After graduation entered the USN Officer Candidate School. In December 1958 he was commissioned ansEnsign in the Navy Reserve followed by an assignment to Naval Aviation Orientation Courses at NAS Jacksonville, FL. Phil was assigned to Patrol Squadron 45 (VP-45) at USN Operating Base on Bermuda as a navigator. This squadron operated the P5M Marlin seaplane from Bermuda’s Great Sound. This assignment was followed by duty with Patrol Squadron 26 (VP-26) at NAS Brunswick, Maine which was equipped with the P2V and ran almost continuous deployments to Iceland and Rota, Spain.
Stephen A. Luckey
1940 ~ 2022
Steve was born on March 8, 1940, in Emmaus, PA, son of “Chick” and Mabel Luckey. Steve loved the woods and streams of the Pennsylvania Poconos where his father was a Forest and Wildlife ranger. At a very young age he accompanied his dad on ranger duties, once holding poachers at gunpoint while his dad disarmed the bad guys. Steve’s hunting experience in the Pocono mountains not only made Steve an expert marksman, but it also gave him survival skills that probably saved his life when scouting behind enemy lines in Vietnam. Very unique duty for a Marine A-4 Skyhawk pilot (carrier qualified) and a FAC (Forward Air Controller) in the U-10 Helio Courier.
Unique indeed. That word describes Steve the best. Many Northwest pilots started, as did Steve, on the B-727 and retired on the B747-400. However, Steve was the one and only NWA pilot that used his innate skills acquired in his formative years and his training as a Marine to make the aviation industry a safer and more secure environment.