William “Bill” Hensleigh was born appropriately on April 1,1947 in Kalispell Mt and passed away October 5th at Prestige Assisted Living in Kalispell. Bill attended St.Matthews Elementary School and graduated from Flathead High school in 1965.
Our brother Bill was not only a ferocious reader but also very athletic. He started with Pee Wee baseball and continued an intense ping pong rivalry with his brothers and neighborhood friends. Bill played varsity basketball and tennis at Flathead High and was a state champion in tennis. Bill was very proud to have gone to Gonzaga University on a Tennis scholarship.
Following graduation, Bill married Lisa Derosier and traveled in Europe prior to starting his career as an English teacher and tennis coach in Soap Lake, Washington for fifteen years .
He also was a member of the Army Reserve for 12 years.
From this marriage three children were born: Heath, Garth (Jessica) and Devon Plette (Scott) who survive him. Four grandchildren also survive him, Morgan and Brayden Hensleigh and Luke and Max Plette.
Bill returned to the Flathead Valley in 1986 and was very active in St Matthew’s Church where you could frequently find him at daily mass or just praying in the sanctuary. His commitment to prayer ultimately saved St. Matthew’s from burning to the ground in May 2019 when he was there, smelled smoke and called the fire department.
Bill married Bonita Stampley in August of 1992 and the two supported one another through life's ups and downs. Bonita survives him at the family home in Kalispell.
Many will recall reading Bill’s letters in the Daily Interlake, notorious for six syllable words, making us use a dictionary to understand his vocabulary! Bill could be found daily drinking coffee at Sykes Market while writing hundreds of letters to friends and family.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents Lyle and Helen Hensleigh. He has four surviving siblings Jim (Jennifer)in Fort Collins,CO, Sheila Hobbs at Medford OR, Tom (Mitzi) Kalispell and Mary Kay Thane (Mark)of Missoula . We will miss receiving our countless poems and letters. As Bill said hundreds of Rosaries for others, he’d like to know we will do the same for him and his family.
A Rosary service will be held at Johnson Mortuary (525 S. Main Kalispell) chapel at 6 pm Thursday, October 21st.
We look forward to celebrating Bill’s life with a Funeral Mass at St. Matthew’s Church, 601 1st Ave W, Kalispell on Friday, October 22nd at 1 PM with a reception
to follow at the VFW located at 330 1st Ave. West. In lieu of flowers, family request memorials be sent to the Warming Center; P.O. Box 7142 Kalispell MT 59904 for the support of mental health.
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