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Robert "Bob" Hensleigh

January 8, 1946 December 21, 2019
Robert "Bob" Hensleigh
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Obituary for Robert "Bob" Hensleigh

Robert “Bob” Hensleigh died peacefully on December 21, 2019, in Great Falls, MT, at the age of 73. Bob is survived by his beloved wife, Jean Hensleigh; daughter, Brenda Hensleigh (Nathaniel) Anderson and their children Kaitlin, Elliot, and Ivy Anderson; Bob’s siblings, Darrell (Carole), Rosemary (Ron), Jerry, Patrick (Joni), Gene (Robbie), and Janette. He is preceded in death by his parents and stepson Scott Bratberg.

Bob was born on January 8, 1946, in Jordan, MT, to George and Freda Hensleigh. January 8th was also his mom’s birthday, a detail they both loved. Bob put himself through school by fighting forest fires as a smokejumper and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Medical Technology from Carroll College in 1969. He married Judyth Myhre after enlisting in the Navy. After his service, they moved back to Great Falls in 1974. Bob and Jude divorced a short while after Brenda was born.

Beginning as an intern in 1968, Bob worked in the medical lab at Columbus Hospital, who held his job while he served in the Navy. When he returned, he held various roles in the lab during his career and trained countless other technicians. Bob’s ethics, competence, and high standards were evident throughout his 43 years in the lab. It was there that Bob found love again with then co-worker Jean Bratberg, caring for her and her son Scott, before Bob and Jean finally married in 1986.

Bob was a devoted parent who prioritized reading. He read nonfiction voraciously and loved to discuss new theories in astronomy and medicine. He deeply believed that reading out loud to children was the best way to connect them to intellectual pursuits. He was an accomplished amateur photographer and his photos document a changing rural landscape in Montana and focused on wild birds, flowers, and small creatures. An experienced hunter, he eventually used his hunting skills to find remote locations where he could capture images of wildlife. When Bob found a hobby, he dedicated himself to learning all he could to become skilled. From roasting his own coffee beans, to teaching his daughter how to make perfect gravy, to loading his own shotgun shells for skeet shooting. Whatever Bob set his mind to, he accomplished.

Every year Bob kept a garden, growing tomatoes, corn, peas, and more, and had patches of wildflowers throughout the yard. He adored watching birds, especially chickadees, putting out seed and water for them daily. Later in life Bob developed a love of carving and woodworking that kept him busy with projects for years. He and Jean would regularly visit family, finding unique locations along their route so they could hike and go geocaching. When not traveling, they enjoyed daily walks along the Missouri River. Despite being healthy and active throughout his life, Bob was eventually found to have Alzheimer’s. Even as the condition advanced, Jean lovingly cared for Bob at home, as they’d both wanted.

A memorial service will take place at O’Connor Memorial Chapel on December 27, 2019, at 2:00 p.m. officiated by Chaplain Richard Brennan. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Bob's life.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Peace Hospice or to Alzheimer’s research. The family would like to thank Dr. Daniel Gordon and the team at Peace Hospice for their care and dedication.

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Previous Events

Memorial Service

Friday

27

Dec

2:00 PM 12/27/2019 2:00:00 PM
O'Connor Memorial Chapel

2425 8th Avenue North
Great Falls, MT 59401

O'Connor Memorial Chapel
2425 8th Avenue North Great Falls 59401 MT
United States

Memorial Contribution

Peace Hospice

P.O. Box 7008
Great Falls, MT 59406-7008

Alzheimer's Foundation of America

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