James Morris Senstad was born on the 30th of August 1927 in Greybull, Wyoming, the only son of railroader Leif J. Senstad and Edith V. (Shotwell) Senstad and brother to Mabel Jean LeDuc of Greybull, Wyoming and Marilyn McDonald of Thermopolis, Wyoming, all of whom preceeded him in death. "Big Jim" as he was affectionately known to family and friends passed on February 12, 2011 at his home. Jim suffered a stroke on January 13 of this year. He is survived by his wife, Stella K. Senstad and his four children, James R. of Phoenix, Susan (Cox) of Yorba Linda, California, Signe (Nall) of Spokane, Washington, Roxie (Sewell) of Phoenix, three son-in-laws, seven grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. At 21, Jim was initiated into the B.P.O.E. in Greybull. At 24, he was elected to the Elks highest office, that of Exhalted Ruler. He is the youngest member in Elks history to hold this esteemed office. He was the first Exhalted Ruler of the newly formed Lodge# 1908 in Worland, Wyoming. Big Jim fell in love with airplanes and flying when as a 5 year old child he took his first ride into the sky with a barnstormer in the open cockpit of a Ford Trimotor. Jim loved everything connected with the sky: birds, clouds, stars, sun and moon. Big Jim began his airline career at the age of 18 for Challenger Airline in his hometown of Greybull. Jim and his family moved from Bakersfield, California to Phoenix in December of 1968 to begin his career as a crew scheduler for Hughes Airwest. Jim retired from Northwest Airlines after 24 years of dedicated service. He worked in the airline industry for 47 years. Jim was a long time member of The Deer Valley Light and Life Church.
A memorial was be held on Saturday, February 19 at 1:00pm at The Deer Valley Light and Life Church in Phoenix.
Big Jim leaves a legacy of love, laughter and faith to his family. His love of music, poetry, dancing, singing and joke telling will never be forgotten. Jim was a man with a heart made for loving and shoulders made to cry on. He will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved him, but none more than Stella, his bride of 62 years. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Hospice of the Valley in Big Jim's name. Info at www.hov.org