Kurt J. Pagenkopf, a trained aircraft mechanic and FAA compliance auditor for Alaska Airlines, died unexpectedly in his home Dec. 12, 2010, in Kent, Wash. He was 56.
His daughter Katie Pagenkopf, his son Tyler Pagenkopf and his three siblings Suzie Pagenkopf, Nancy Fletcher and Joseph Pagenkopf, survive Pagenkopf.
His passion was tinkering with machinery. In the past seven years, he helped repair a small submarine for submersion in Puget Sound and rebuilt a crashed recreational airplane for airworthiness. At the time of his death, he was overhauling a Jeep CJ5 he had painted lime green. He had hinted to family and friends that his next project would involve dropping a 500-horsepower engine into the body of a Mazda Miata.
Born in Wisconsin and raised in Juneau, he graduated from Juneau-Douglas High School in 1972. He moved with his young family to the Seattle area in the late 1980s, settling in unincorporated King County in 1989. He was an employee of Alaska Airlines for 29 years.
"He was the type of Dad who you could always reach, when he said that I could call anytime, he meant it. I loved that about him," says Katie.
A loved brother, father and "Caractaus Potts," he will be sorely missed.