Captain Frank Kennedy 1916-1997
By Joseph Stachon, Captain
This morning, Sept. 9, 1997, I think I heard cockpit voices and radio transmissions on my radio scanner and it sounded like this: “Set take-off power--- 100 Knots --- time --- V1 --- Rotation --- V2 --- Gear up --- set climb power.” “Departure control, this is Captain Frank Kennedy on my final solo flight out of Livermore, California. Request a heading.”
“Captain Kennedy, this is departure control. Your flight conditions are CAVU and you are cleared to climb unrestricted to your cruising altitude, and thence to your destination. Have a good flight.
Yes we have lost a favorite, loyal Taloan. Frank was very special to me because his way of life was best exemplified by the philosophy of Robert Ingersoll, my favorite author, who wrote: “The time to be happy is now, and the way to be happy is to make others so. To love wife and child and friend,
to make a happy home, to love the beautiful in art, in nature, to cultivate the mind, to be familiar with the mighty thoughts that genius has expressed, the noble deeds of all the world, to cultivate courage and cheerfulness, to make others happy, to see the calm beyond the storm, the dawn before the night, to
be the best that can be done and then --- to be resigned.”
As an example of Frank's boundless ability to make others happy, I offer this anecdote. The day after the Taloa reunion, my daughter Pat, took the tape of all the greetings and best wishes, which were made at the picnic, to Frank and presented it to him. Remember, this was just two days before he passed away. He was very weak and in great pain. Pat told him she was amazed at the great outpouring of love and good wishes that everyone expressed for him. Frank said, “Are you sure you were at the right picnic?”
Frank was, is, and forever will be a legend to all of us who knew him. His exploits in the early days of Transocean in Alaska, Hong Kong, Hawaii, Japan, Wake Island, the Middle East and everywhere around the world, are too numerous to relate.
Good bye, Frank. I am sure that I speak for all of us Taloans when I say, with sincerest and deepest conviction, our cup of love for you over-floweth.