Just as he greeted all people who he met, On January 17, 2019, Rich Senden was greeted by his Lord with warmth and a broad smile. He died quietly and peacefully at Cascadia of Boise Rehab Center in Boise, Idaho. Rich lived for his last 40 years with many chronic illnesses. During that time he accepted his physical limitations, seldom complaining and always exhibiting a positive and cheerful disposition. At the end of his life, he was fighting to regain his mobility and strength so he could once again become an active part of his family.
Rich was born January 26, 1945 in Liberal, Kansas. Months later, his parents Tony and Bert (Boumans) Senden moved the family to Conrad, MT where he lived an idyllic small-town childhood with his 2 brothers, Bob and Greg. Rich often reminisced about his boyhood antics with extended families when the family visited farms in Valier, MT and Marshall, MN. During his school years Rich enjoyed tap dancing, choir, playing the piano and clarinet and playing football.
Upon graduation from Conrad High School, he enlisted in the United States Air Force serving with the security police on US air bases in England. After an honorary discharge he returned to MT where he attended Eastern Montana College in Billings. It was there, on a blind date, he met Mary Kay Micheletti. For both of them it was love at first sight. They were married on June 10, 1972 in Anaconda, MT. In the fall of 1973 they moved to Helena, MT where they continued to live in their “starter” home happily raising their two children, Damian and Maria, his pride and joy.
Rich enjoyed a 30 year career in computer operations working at the Montana Departments of Transportation, Administration and Justice. He saw the state computer system evolve from a bulky main-frame system to individual desktops.
Throughout his life, Rich cherished the simplicity of good food, the blessings of familial companionship and the glories of hunting, fishing, camping, reading western and mystery novels and cheering for his beloved San Francisco forty-niners. He loved having fun and telling stories and he told them well. When someone else told a story, Rich listened intently with genuine interest. He understood that true happiness involves steadfast appreciation for those things and people who reflect life’s treasures only possible because of forthright commitment to faith and family.
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In short, Rich understood what most often forget: life’s special moments do not come from earning credentials, winning awards, gathering recognitions, or grossing high wages. Life is best shared with a loving family, gathered around a kitchen table, eating simply and feasting on the stories, experiences, and practices that shaped his family’s legacy of devotion, commitment and resolute faith.
Rich is survived by his wife, Mary Kay, son Damian and family (Bre, Colton and Emma) and daughter Maria Salo and family (Jordan, Ethan, Liam and Avery). He is also survived by his twin brother Bob (Judy) of Anchorage, AK, sisters-in-law Ginny Senden of Redmond, OR and Marilyn Micheletti of Anaconda, MT, aunts, Glenna Boumans of Valier, MT, Phil Rossberg of Eden Prairie, MN, uncle, Walt Boumans of Conrad, MT and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Mary Kay’s parents, Joe and Ella Micheletti, brother, Greg, sisters-in-law Dina Turner and Adele Meister, brother-in-law Joe Micheletti and many other family members who Rich held close to his heart, especially his brother-in-law Jerry Micheletti.
Rich would be honored if memorials were made in his name to Montana Special Olympics, Great Falls, MT or Montana Veterans Foundation, 1112 Leslie Ave, Helena, MT.
Funeral services will be held in Helena, MT at St. Mary’s Catholic Community on May 3rd at 11 am. A reception will follow in the Social Center of the church. Interment will follow at the State Veteran cemetery at Ft. Harrison, MT.