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Former Juneau resident Joeseph A. Kendler passed away Jan. 16, 2009 in Arizona. He was 83.
He was born in Juneau April 16, 1925 and grew up on the Kendler's Alaska Dairy Farm where the airport is today. He attended school in Juneau and graduated in 1943. He served in the United States Army from 1944 to 1946.
He attended flight school in Tulsa, Okla. and began his career as a pilot flying for Alaska Coastal Airlines in Juneau in 1949. He flew for Coastal and then with Alaska Airlines when the two companies merged, retiring in 1985. He soloed off the Juneau Airport in 1947, and his final landing was in a 727 jet as captain at the Juneau Airport in approximately the same touchdown area.
Known as "Big Joe," he had a great sense of humor and liked to joke that the difference between the two landings was he did a little better on the last touchdown. When he retired he made his home in Pierce County, Wash., and later in Sun City West, Ariz.
He was preceded in death by his parents Joe Sr. and Mathilda Kendler, of Seattle, Wash., and his daughter Debbie Baxter, of Juneau.
He is survived by his wife Beverly, of Sun City West, Ariz.; sister Mildred Dale Steen, of Seattle, Wash.; daughter Sandy Scott Spickler, of Juneau, son-in-law Ron Baxter, of Juneau; grandsons Scott Baxter, Corey Christa Baxter, Kyle Spickler, and Kasen Spickler, all of Juneau; two great-grand children; several nieces and nephews and the Bonnett family, of Juneau. He is also survived by his extended family Denice Thibaut, of Lake Stevens, Wash., Bryce Patsy, of Juneau, and Blake Patsy, of Portland, Ore., along with their families.