We received word this week that Kent Joranlien, one of the founding members of EAA Chapter 431 passed away unexpectedly at his home in Bellaire Beach, Florida. Kent’s full obituary is here.
Kent was one of a handful of area pilots who had a vision and took the initiative to purchase Brodhead Airport back in 1973, when it was just a couple of old hangars and an overgrown grass strip. They chartered EAA Chapter 431 and began an era of improvements and expansions that formed the jewel of grassroots aviation that is now known around the world.
Kent owned a beautiful 1946 Taylocraft BC-12D along with Ed Disch and his good friend Bill Knight. Fully restored by Kent and Bill in the early 70s, it won so many “Best of Type” awards at the annual EAA Convention in Oshkosh that they quit taking it to give others a chance. Kent and his son Ric flew it often.
In later years, Kent and Sandra were frequent volunteers at the summer fly-ins put on by EAA Chapter 431. If you ever bought an evening meal ticket for our pork chop roast, chances are good that Kent sold you the ticket. He was very proud of the airport that he helped build and was always there to pitch in when needed.
Our sincere thanks go out in Kent’s memory and our deep sympathies to his wife Sandra and children Ric, Robin and Chad. His kindness and generosity will be greatly missed.