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Remembering longtime mayor, educator and community leader Carolyn Floyd

Carolyn Floyd, KMXT file photo.

Kodiak’s former mayor Carolyn Floyd has passed away. The Floyd family announced this week that their matriarch died peacefully in her sleep at the age of 88.

Carolyn Floyd was born in northeastern Oregon in 1933. She landed in Kodiak in 1955 where she spent most of her life. She had an outsized impact in the community as an educator – first as a teacher at Kodiak High School.

She was instrumental in bringing college classes to the island through the University of Alaska’s adjunct program. Kodiak Community College – now known as Kodiak College – sprung up from those early courses, and she served as the school’s first president for nearly 20 years; the college library is named in her honor.

“She never lost sight of what her mission was,” said Betty Walters, who taught alongside Floyd as an adjunct professor during the college’s school’s early days. “The mission was to make sure that one, kids in our community did well – did well in all aspects of life. And two, educationally that they would go as far as they wished to go.”

Floyd was recognized with an Honorary Doctorate of Education in 1989 from the University of Alaska Anchorage for that mission. And she served as Kodiak’s elected city mayor for 18 years. During that time she oversaw construction of a new police department and the ice rink. And she founded Kodak’s Multicultural League. Her successor – Kodiak’s current Mayor Pat Branson – said Floyd was a lion.

“And it wasn’t just locally,” said Branson. “She was involved with the Alaska Municipal League, with the Conference of Mayors, with the National League of Cities — just a true leader in the sense of understanding issues and working to solve those issues.”

Floyd raised four children on Kodiak Island with her late husband Joe – a longtime coach. He died in 2020. and the namesake of Kodiak’s annual Joe Floyd Basketball Tournament is held in his honor.

Those that knew Carolyn Floyd said she was a fixture in the bleachers at youth sports games over the years – and would even cheer for kids on the other team when they made a good play.

Floyd was formally recognized for her work in the community and beyond in 2012, when she was inducted into the Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame.

Her son, Patrick, wrote in a post on social media that his mother had passed while reclined in her chair by the front window of her house, overlooking the town she loved.