Patrick Robinson
The landmark HK marking the Howden Kennedy Funeral home on Alaska Street was taken down on Monday Aug. 26 by Mike Emmick. The business was forced to move by development and has relocated at 7601 35th Ave SW.

Howden-Kennedy Funeral home sign comes down after decades as a landmark

The sign with the black H/K against the yellow background marked a spot on Alaska Street for more than 5 decades. Now the Howden Kennedy funeral home sign is gone and the property at 3909 SW Alaska St becomes the property of the new developers as of Wednesday Aug. 28.

Mike Emmick, who has served as an apprentice and nearly has his mortuary degree, was asked to take down the famous sign atop the building on Monday Aug. 26. "I'm grieving for this building he said," with the knowledge that it will be removed to accommodate a new large development including Whole Foods and more apartment housing if the plans go ahead.

The Weeks family has already distributed some of the interior decor to the Columbia Funeral home and the Vashon Funeral home. Chapel chairs, pictures and much more has already been cleared out so the sign was the last to go.

With the help of his father Craig Emmick, a former funeral director himself, Mike dismantled with plastic sign fronts, handling them gingerly since they are now brittle with age.

The signs may go to the Museum of History and Industry or another local museum but their final disposition has not yet been determined.

The business has moved to a new, smaller office location at 7601 35th Ave SW. The owners stressed that there is no break in service for the families they serve. They can be reached at 932-0356.

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