A memorial service will be held on Sat. Oct. 11th at 3:00 p.m. at the church. Visitation from 1-3 p.m.
Overlooking Lake Michigan, in the library of her home of 54 years on North Point in Sheboygan, Alice K. Senty recently completed her memoir, Here I Belong, describing her family’s journey and the joys of their life in Wisconsin. She died in her home in the company of her children on 29 September – she was 91, and was conveyed by a rare cancer, according to her family.Alice was born March 28, 1923 in Corwith, Iowa, the first daughter of Basil and Maude (Northrop) Koob. While Basil advanced as a railroad telegrapher, newspaper linotypist, and ultimately newspaper editor; Alice attended elementary schools in the Driftless Area of western Wisconsin during the Depression. As the valedictorian of Hillsboro High School she earned a scholarship to the University of Wisconsin in Madison. This set her on the path to be a self-made and selfless woman – she graduated Phi Beta Kappa in Journalism – and continued her quest for knowledge, while giving of herself, throughout her life.A med student at the UW, Robert M. Senty, was infatuated with Alice upon their first meeting in the student union – and he remained so throughout their life together. On July 7, 1945 they married at the Presbyterian Student Center in Madison. They lived in St. Paul while Dr. Senty completed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine (and appreciated being the first married couple allowed to share a room in the hospital dorm). Alice wrote for the magazine “Everybody’s Health”. During the Korean War, Dr. Senty volunteered for military service and was sent first to Walter Reed General Hospital in Washington, D.C. and then on to Germany for two years. Upon their return in 1954, the couple moved to Sheboygan when Dr. Senty joined the Sheboygan Clinic, preferring this locale to an offer in San Francisco.
In 1960, they purchased their first home, on North Point, where she treasured being close to the sight and sound of the lake and sharing it with her family. Over time, her children, grandchildren, and most recently great-grandchildren rallied in Sheboygan for excursions to the beach, for informal lunches on the porch, birthday and graduation parties, watching the 4th of July fireworks, morning runs on the lakeside jogging path, bicycle treks around the county, and yard work. Successive ages of grandchildren came for the two week Arts Camp at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in August for many summers.
Over the last 40 years, Alice’s daily fitness routine began with the ten Royal Canadian Air Force Exercises for Women, but she wasn’t a jogger. She preferred Wisconsin hiking, bicycling, Lightning Class sailing, ice skating, cross country skiing, and alpine skiing (she made the acquaintance of Jerry Kramer and other Packers while wedeling at Hidden Valley; and returned a resolute Packer fan). Like her father, she was a train buff, taking rail journeys in Mexico, Canada, Great Britain, Europe, Australia, China, and Russia, and to both coasts of the United States. An inveterate learning-traveler, she had visited every state in the Union and over 50 countries. She wrote travel articles for the Milwaukee Journal and the Sheboygan Press.
In recent years, she was a steadfast companion to Robert Leverenz, as he was her frequent gin rummy competitor and escort to Packer games. Their good humor and laughter filled the house – and later she continued the card games and companionship faithfully through his declining health. An aide-mémoire of her tireless care for her late husband, who was struck with brain cancer in 1978 and whom she cared for during two difficult years at North Point.
She was preceded in death by her husband Dr. Robert M. Senty, M.D., and two of her sisters, Laurabelle Kepler and Dorothy Hayes. She is survived by her sister Judy (Tom) Pritchard of Calendar, IA; and her three children; Carolyn Cance Senty of Madison, WI, Major General David Northrop (Laura Poston) Senty of Arlington, VA, and Robert Edmond Senty (Martha Conboy) of Arlington, VA; five granddaughters; Dr. Lauren Ashley Senty (Luke) Turner, Mary Arden Senty, Megan Ferguson Senty, Sarah Cance Senty, and Atalie Darling Senty; and two great granddaughters; Julia and Nora Turner.
Here I Belong was crafted for family and Alice’s circle of friends, all of whom share an interest in writing and in higher education. Perpetual curiosity steered Alice to post-graduate courses at the University of Minnesota, Silver Lake College, Lakeland College, and the University of Wisconsin-Sheboygan. She was a steadfast committee worker and member of the Lakeland College Board of Trustees, and in 2007 the College awarded Alice an honorary doctorate. In 2013 she was elevated to trustee emeritus status and received an Honorary Alumni Award. Alice was also a president of the University of Wisconsin Alumni Club-Sheboygan and received the 1990 Outstanding Alumni Award. She was active in the American Association of University Women and in 2004 was granted a Life Membership.
Alice had a strong sense of selfless leadership and, over the years, served on the Boards of Directors of the United Way, Red Cross, Friends of Mead Public Library, the Lakeshore Chorale, John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan County YMCA, Mid-American Region of National YMCAs, and the Sheboygan Retirement Home. She was the first female president of the Sheboygan YMCA and Y Endowment Trust Board. Alice also enjoyed community service as a driver for Meals on Wheels and desk volunteer at Maywood Environmental Park. And she held offices in the Medical Auxiliary, Town and Country Garden Club, and PEO.
Her church of 58 years is First Congregational Church, UCC, Sheboygan. She embraces her close spiritual relationship with Reverends Jim and Julia Hollister, whom she admires as strong friends in faith, and enlightened community and transcendent leaders. While her corporal presence is now absent from her family and friends, the enduring aura of her faith and fortitude remains with us all.
Memorials may be give to: The Dr. Robert M. and Alice K. Senty Enhancement Fund (Medical School), UW Foundation, US Bank Lockbox 78807, Milwaukee, WI 53278-0807; or The Alice K. Senty Scholarship Fund, Lakeland College, P.O. Box 359, Sheboygan, WI 53082; or First Congregational Church Memorial Fund, 310 Bluff Avenue, Sheboygan, WI 53081