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Kenneth “Kenny” Michale Gannaw
July 24, 1955 ~ April 13, 2023 (age 67) 67 Years Old
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Kenneth “Kenny” Michale Gannaw passed away peacefully in his Burien home on April 13th surrounded by his loving wife, daughters, sons-in-law, and grandchildren.
An incredible husband, devout father and grandfather, loving brother and beloved uncle, union brother and respected craftsman, Kenny was loved by many and respected by all.
He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Carolyn “Carey” Gannaw; daughters Margo (Tyrell) Gannaw-Fincher and Stacey (Chris) Gannaw-Melton; and grandson Jaloni “Jay” and granddaughters Kennedy and Jordyn “JoJo” Fincher. His extended family and friends-who-were-family also held a special place in his life, including the Gannaw cousins, the Vandenberg-Miller clan, the Fincher clan, the Melton family, and the union brothers and sisters of Boilermakers local 104, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades local 300, and Amalgamated Transit Union local 587.
Born in Seattle on July 24, 1955, to Donald Michale of Stanford, MT, and Margaret Elizabeth (Miller) Gannaw of Stamford, CT, Kenny joined older sister Helen (Smith) Boyd at their home in West Seattle where he spent his childhood, first in Highpoint and then Gatewood, before moving to a family home on the corner of 30th and Henderson.
He was a Southwest Seattle man through-and-through, attending Highpoint Elementary, Gatewood Elementary, Roxhill Elementary, Denny Middle School, and graduating as a Chief Sealth Seahawk in 1973. Shortly after high school, Kenny was hired as a drydock rigger after name-dropping “Pork Chop” Earles, the father of his childhood friend, Mike Earles.
Kenny spent most of his professional life at Todd Shipyard mastering the maritime trades as a dock rigger and painter. As a devoted shop steward and contract negotiator, he prided himself in representing his union members fairly, in good faith and without discrimination, never having to advance a grievance to arbitration. Kenny also served a stint as a full-time driver for King County Metro prior to his retirement in 2021.
Kenny’s greatest joy was his family. He met his wife Carey at the tender age of 19. The two young hippies immediately moved in together and were married in West Seattle on the one-year anniversary of their meeting on August 14, 1976. In 1978, they purchased their home in Burien where they built their life and raised their family. In their 48 years together, they spent no more than two weeks apart.
What Kenny loved most was spending time with his wife, daughters, sons-in-law, grandchildren, and beloved dog (Macey). He enjoyed the simple things of life like a day at the beach, an afternoon boating trip, an early morning bike ride, walks with the dog, and making his infamous oatmeal chocolate chip cookies for friends and family. He delighted in sun and snow, especially the first signs of light and warmth in the Spring, and the first snow of Winter. He never missed an opportunity to show gratitude, and he never lost faith in his belief that everyone has something to teach you.
Although way too soon, he left this world the way he intended, well lived and well loved. “Life is NOT a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well-preserved body, but rather to skid sideways, chocolate in one hand, joint in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and screaming, ‘WOO HOO what a ride!’”
Rest in peace, Poppy. We will make you proud and we will miss you immensely.
Kenny’s “Celebration of Life” will take place on June 10, 2023
For those who wish, memorial gifts can be made to:
End of Life Washington, the only organization in the State of Washington that upholds the rights of qualified terminally ill adults to use Washington’s Death with Dignity Act. https://support.endoflifewa.org/a/donate