Robert "Cy" John Hentges
January 13, 2022
Robert “Cy” John Hentges, 85, of Shelton, Washington, passed away peacefully in his sleep on December 10, 2021. Cy was born to Anthony Hentges and Lillian Phelan Hentges in Petersburg, North Dakota. He would spend the majority of his childhood years in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Cy attended the University of North Dakota and then transferred to the University of Idaho where he received his degree in Wildlife Management and Forestry in 1960. After graduation, Cy served in the U.S. Army as a Second Lieutenant leading an artillery battery training program (honorable discharge in 1960). After working for the U.S. Social Security Administration for a period of time, he landed his first “outdoor job” as a backcountry ranger in Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington. This would lead to a 30-year career span doing what he loved most - working outdoors and being a steward for the preservation of land, resources, and wildlife.
On June 11, 1964, Cy married Karen Carter in Pocatello, Idaho. The couple quickly settled in Ohanapecosh (Mt. Rainier National Park), started a family, and would then spend the next three decades living in the majesty of Carbon River and Longmire (both in Mt. Rainier National Park), Marblemount (North Cascades National Park), Craters of the Moon (Idaho), and then traveling full circle back to Mt. Rainier National Park where he would retire in 1992. After retirement (and the loss of his beloved wife, Karen), Cy lived his “golden years” in Thompson Falls, Montana where he would meet a handful of close friends who shared his love of hiking, fishing and hunting. In service to his faith and community, Cy joined the local chapter of the Knights of Columbus, where he would serve as President and Treasurer over his tenure. He found great joy in planning annual fundraising events that provided much needed funding to the local community.
Aside from his family, Cy’s greatest joys on this planet included hiking, fishing, hunting, and practicing his Catholic faith. He curated his life masterfully and stated many times in his later years that he felt very fortunate in his life.
Cy was preceded in death by his wife Karen (1996), his brother Richard Hentges (2017), his sister Colleen Dolan (2021) and his sister Collette Brosch (2021). He is survived by his sister Paulette Brannon (Chuck), daughter Michele Hentges-Celmer (Shelly), son Tony Hentges (Krista), son Peter Hentges (Shane), and grandchildren Taylor Jacobson (Blake), Austin Hentges, and Ryan Celmer.
Funeral services and a celebration of life will be held in the springtime. The family has requested that remembrances can be made in the form of a donation to the National Park Foundation (nationalparks.org).