Robert Raymond DENINI


Robert passed peacefully into God’s care on 10/16/2011 surrounded by his family and the prayers of loved ones all around the world.
Born 12/24/1935 in Seattle, WA to Reno and Alma (Hatch) Denini, Robert attended Sacred Heart Elementary on Queen Anne Hill and graduated from Seattle Preparatory School in 1953. He continued his education at Seattle University and was a proud member of the Intercollegiate Knights.
During his college years he held several jobs including a sous-chef at Ivar’s Acres of Clams, at Fredrick & Nelson’s and as a King County Deputy Sherriff (Motorcycle Patrol and Drill Team). Robert enlisted in the US Army and served 2 years before transferring to the Washington National Guard, retiring after 27 years with the rank of Master Sargent.
He was employed at the Boeing Co. of Seattle retiring in 1995 after 35 years working on various Aerospace and defense programs including the Lunar Rover, the Minuteman and Minuteman III Missile, the Roland Missile System, and the B-2 Bomber. During the Boeing Layoffs he did TV and radio repair and worked as a Communications Specialist for the Seattle Fire and Police Departments where he helped design the “Single Call” system, a precursor to 911.
Robert was an avid HAM Radio operator, call sign K7GGO. He could be found daily at noon on the “Jefferson Noon Net”, a regional emergency radio network of operators in the Western United States, often as “Net Control” and at any hour of the day or night making contacts around the globe. He was very proud of his antenna and 50’ tower which he erected himself and could be seen from many blocks away and was always willing to tell anyone interested all about it.
His passion for music was well known and his taste in music was extensive and inclusive. He was an accomplished (and self-taught) pianist and guitarist and a quick study on almost any instrument. When any of his children would mention an interest in an instrument, and that instrument would soon show up, lessons were always an option. Many knew him from his years in the Our Lady of Guadelupe Choir. Singing was his greatest musical passion and while he always longed for a voice like Andrea Bocelli or Luciano Pavarotti, his own tenor voice will surely be missed. He was incredibly proud of the musical talent and love of music he passed on to his children and grandchildren and was never shy to share their latest musical offerings to any and all.
He was a proud member of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church for 48 years. He served as President of the Parents Club and on many parish committees and boards. He was always volunteering (and being volunteered by his children) for school and parish projects and never turned down the call for help. He and his wife Jane were Chairpersons of the “Over 65 Dinner” at OLG for 30+ years putting on a home-style roast beef dinner for hundreds of area seniors 3 times a year. His command of the kitchen was legendary, making sure 80 lbs. of roast beef; 150 lbs. of REAL mashed potatoes, 5 gallons of gravy and all the rest were hot and ready to be served on time, not an easy accomplishment.
In 1961, Robert met the Love of his life, (Mary) Jane Garrett. They were wed on Nov. 17 1962 at Sacred Heart Church in Seattle. They chose West Seattle to make their home and there raised 5 children, in a house often filled with music, friends, pets, laughter, loud voices and love. Over the years additions and remodels were made to the house to accommodate the family and all of the work was done by himself, his father Reno, Uncle Joe and friends, he was a DIY man.
His family was his joy. No late night school project or prop for a play was done halfway, whether it was a science project with electricity or Plymouth Rock for the Thanksgiving play, it would be the best. He attended countless plays, talent shows, and soccer and volleyball games and was always proud of his kids.
Over the years Robert was known by many monikers, Bob, Lil’ Bobby Nini, The man in the attic, Bubbles, the old Curmudgeon, Aged P, and Dad but it was later in life he gained his favorite, Papa. Papa was the most loving and compassionate grandfather and NOTHING was too good for his grandchildren. Whether it was holding them as newborns or hearing the dreaded/loved words “Papa, I have an idea…” he was never happier. He cherished the time he was able to spend with them and they always brightened his day.
In March 2011 he was diagnosed with an aggressive, terminal cancer but he did not give up hope. With the love and strength of his wife and family and his great faith in the Lord, Bob courageously fought and was guided by God through to the end. Robert was preceded in death by his parents, and by his brothers David and Leonard. He is survived by his sister Kerri (Tor) Thoresen, his wife of 49 years (Mary) Jane Garrett, his children Michael, Robin (Andrew Hendricks), Susan, Paul, Gregory (Julie) and 4 grandchildren, Garrett & Alex Hendricks and Rachel & Natalie Denini. We all would like to thank his extended family, his many friends, especially Harry and Gloria Langen, Tom Mahoney, Jeri Su Prewitt, Father Jack Walmsley and his OLG family, the staff at Virginia Mason Medical Center and Seattle Providence Hospice for their thoughts, prayers and help. A Funeral Mass will be held at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church (7000 35th Ave. S.W.) on October 29, 2011 at 10:30am. Please join us at mass and for a reception following in the parish hall. Remembrances may be made to the Our Lady of Guadelupe new parish hall fund.

One Response to “Robert Raymond DENINI”

  • Colleen Terlicker says:

    Dear Jane,

    I was saddened to see the notice in the West Seattle Herald. My sincere sympathy to you and the family. I was unable to attend the funeral, but perhaps I can have a Mass said for Bob. I will let you know where and when. I called Theresa and she said it was announced at school-Assumption-St. Bridget, and little Charlotte told her about it.
    I have many good memories of you all. You will be in my prayers.

    Love, Colleen

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