The following is from Susan Dennis
It is with tremendous sadness that I report the passing of my husband, Captain Ken Dennis, who flew west last year after a brief but valiant battle with a rare form of cancer.
Ken grew up in Connecticut & loved airplanes for as long as he could remember. He & a friend often rode their bicycles to the local airport, where Ken talked the two brothers who ran the place into giving him flying lessons in exchange for doing odd jobs. He received his private pilot's license prior to getting his driver's license. He eventually received his CFI, which he maintained until his death.
After graduating from college, Ken got a job flying solo around New England in a small airplane, delivering bags of mail through rain, sleet, snow & hail. He moved to Key West, bought a floatplane & flew divers to the Dry Tortugas. He lived in Santa Barbara, where he was a flight instructor, sky diving enthusiast, president of the hang gliding club, & landed a job as the chief pilot for Seals & Crofts during their heyday (he had many stories about this time in his life). His dream of being a commercial airline pilot came true when he became a member of the Flying Tigers Class of March 1978.
Ken was passionate about his job & was well-respected as an airman. He worked his way up through the ranks, starting as a DC-8 FE, followed by 747 FE, DC-8 F/O, 747 F/O, and Captain on the 727, DC10 & MD11. He retired as a FedEx 777 Captain in 2012. He proudly served on the Hotel & Catering Committee for many years---both at FT & FedEx.
Ken with Ken Kahn and Bob Bologna
Ken was an amazing photographer & turned his hobby into a 2nd career with the PGA & LPGA tours. His photos were published in Sports Illustrated, Golf Digest, NY Times & many others. At the time of his death, he was working for Associated Press - Japan.
Ken and Susan Dennis
Ken & I met on a trip to Brazil when I was a DG instructor jumpseating to teach classes in VCP, RIO & EZE; he was on his last trip as a 747 F/O prior to moving to Captain on the 727. We lived on opposite coasts for awhile, but the acquisition by FedEx took both of us to Memphis where we lived for a few years. We eventually relocated to SoCal & were lucky enough to welcome an amazing daughter.
Ken had a quirky, unique perspective on many things and was truly larger than life. He had an unusual but endearing sense of humor & never met a stranger, nor did he ever forget a face or name. He loved traveling the world & had many adventures. He was a husband, father, son, brother, and uncle, but most of all he was a friend. His passing leaves a tremendous void for those who were lucky enough to know him.
A party to celebrate Ken's life will be held held on April 20, 2019 in Southern California. We look forward to sharing stories (of which there are many) & memories of him. We would welcome members of the Flying Tigers family. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to attend.
In lieu of flowers, we ask that a donation to his favorite charity be made in Ken's name. He volunteered for over 20 years at the St. Jude PGA event in Memphis, and proudly supported St. Jude in other ways. Donations can be mailed or given over the phone. Please include Ken's name & the tribute #.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
501 St. Jude Place
Memphis, TN 38105
Tribute # 11590995
To most, the sky is the limit --- to Ken, it was home...