Patricia Jean Henley

Kenai resident Ms. Patricia Jean Henley, 74, died Sunday, May 31, 2020 at the Kenai Senior Center in Kenai. No services will be planned per Patricia’s wishes.

Patricia arrived in Alaska on June 6, 1946. She considered Alaska her Eternal Mother (EMA). She adamantly and often expressed that The Great Land gave her everything (including her life) more than once.

Patricia homesteaded on the Kenai Peninsula with her parents in 1946. After the homesteading adventure, she moved with her family to Kodiak in 1948 and was raised on the Flying H Ranch at Kalsin Bay. Because she was so nearsighted, she could not see beyond the horse’s ears she rode. Therefore, besides being a bareback rider, she monitored horse ears to keep her out of trouble. After all, she was raised in Kodiak Brown Bear Country.

Though Patricia was raised without electricity, running water or indoor plumbing, she used a wood stove for heat. She believed she had the perfect childhood.

Her opinionated advice to the “modern” public is “to quit whining.” She graduated from a junior college in Portland, Oregon, which made her get involved in the aviation industry. All of her pilots were considered to be her magical creatures, just one flight level below the Almighty. She went to work for the FAA as an air traffic controller at Woody Island FSS April 19, 1970 as a GS5 Step 1. She retired November 14, 2004 as a GS 12 Step 6. She worked air traffic control at Woody Island, Kodiak Tower, Kodiak GCA as a radar controller, Anchorage FSS, Kenai FSS AFFS and Tower, and Cold Bay FSS.

To Patricia, there was not a more fascinating, enjoyable and interesting occupation than communication with aircraft. Her entire being was absolutely mired in aviation. Patricia was a peculiar person. She lived in her world, an Alaskan world.

She was very opinionated, talented and could never accept statehood. She was without a doubt, an Alaska Territorial Child.

She was preceded in death by her parents, David W. Henley and Shirly Jepsen Henley.

She is survived by her brothers, David M. Henley and Troy C. Henley and Good Friend, Dale E. Moore.

Arrangements made by Peninsula Memorial Chapel & Crematory. Please sign or visit her online guestbook at

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