Richard Louis Hensch passed away March 21, 2020 at his home in Altamonte Springs, Florida. Born in Fergus Falls on December 20, 1945, to Louis and Esther (Luther) Hensch, Rich enjoyed growing up in Fergus Falls and the many summers at their family cabin on Otter Tail Lake. He had three sisters; Jeanne Dybvig (deceased), Janet Knapp (Fergus Falls) and Mary Little (Bloomington).
Rich married his wife of 50 years, Susan Zimmerman (Hensch), in 1969 shortly after college graduation and before his commission into the U.S. Navy. During his 22-year military service, he had the honor to fly the A-4 Skyhawk and the A-7 Corsair II, and had nearly 500 aircraft carrier landings, 110 of which were at night (he often joked he would give all those back). Rich also went on a U.N. peacekeeping venture in Israel. He retired from the U.S. Navy, and continued his flying career as a commercial airline pilot with Pan American World Airways, Valujet, and Airtran Airways, and then found his favorite flying-seaplanes.
Rich and Susan started Florida Seaplanes in 1992. Rich enjoyed seaplane flying daily with people from all over the U.S. and World that would come to Orlando for an adventure tour or flight training in the M7 Maule high-performance floatplanes. He loved the freedom and adventures that flying floatplanes brought him. He said many times that he was lucky to do something so fun or how he put it “It is a tough job but somebody has to do it!” In 2018, Rich was honored with the Wright Brothers Master Pilot award for 50 years of safe accident-free flying.
Rich and Susan built their home on Prairie Lake in Altamonte Springs where they raised their three children. He was extremely proud of his daughter, Sarah Anderson and her husband, Scott Anderson (Jacksonville, Florida); son, Mike Hensch and his wife, Nikki Hensch (Jacksonville, Florida); son, Dave Hensch and his wife, Angela Hensch (Altamonte Springs, Florida); and his five grandchildren; Luke Anderson, Wade Anderson, Parker Hensch, Madison Hensch and Harley Hensch.
Rich also had many loving cousins, nieces, nephews, extended family members and cherished friends that he loved staying in touch with and visiting as he traveled and explored. He also would start conversations and meet many new friends along the way. Due to the current difficulties traveling and gathering, the family will plan a celebration in honor of his life at a later date. In lieu of floral arrangements, please consider a donation to the American Heart Association or the Parkinson’s Foundation.
Celebration in honor of his life will be planned at a later date.