Dr. Norman Foster Kenck passed away peacefully early Wednesday morning, November 7th. He was a Valentine’s baby born on February 14, 1933 to Ralph and Dorothy Kenck of Bozeman. Norm was 85 years old.
He grew up in Bozeman as a third generation native. His great-grandfather was the founder of the hospital (Dr. Foster) and his other great-grandfather was the first gemologist in the territory who started Pease Jewelry (today’s Miller’s Jewelry).
Norm played football and basketball for Bozeman High School and was a scholar-athlete in both sports. He later attended Montana State College. After graduation, Norm attended dental school at Washington University in St. Louis. Hopeful to return to Bozeman to begin his dental practice upon graduating Washington University, Norman was drafted in the United States Air Force and served as a Captain and Dentist at Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane. Norm was discharged from the Air Force in 1960 and returned to Bozeman to establish his dental practice. After years of patience and hard work, his practice flourished. He practiced in the same offices at the corner of Black and Olive for nearly 50 years. He loved his patients and staff and was more than willing to accept any form of payment his patients could make, sometimes even trading for livestock….but cookies and fudge were his favorite.
His escape from the office was enjoying working with his animals. He had a ranch on Gooch Hill Road and raised Pinzgauer cattle. He later moved his passion to racehorses and enjoyed watching them run. He was happiest when sitting in the grandstands watching one of his horses racing in Billings, Great Falls or Helena. He loved the stables and all the people who belonged to the races. He visited the back paddocks of Santa Anita several times and bought a beautiful stallion there which was his pride and joy.
In his final years, Norm was happy to meet with his grandchildren for breakfast or lunch and feed the ducks and deer that visited his home. He often commented that HIS visiting flock of ducks usually exceeded 200 a day. Corn could be found in every corner of his car and he was a frequent customer at the local feed store.
Norm married Doris Jean Burke (Heckerman) in 1957 with whom he had three children, Lori Kenck (who preceded him in death), Leslie Kenck Jackson and Todd Kenck. Later in life, he became stepfather to Sean Cavanaugh and Bridget Cavanaugh Duncan. Norm was a grandfather to Lauren Jackson Ivaldi, Brooke Jackson, Maya Kenck, Sam Kenck, Macy Duncan, Ryan Duncan, Finn Cavanaugh and Molly Cavanaugh. The grandchildren will always remember his helpful guidance on the correct way to eat Oreos in a tall glass of milk. His love of Ovaltine and malted milkshakes at any time of day was legendary as well as his ability to hoist hay bales with one arm and create the best forts in which to play… Not a bad legacy!
In lieu of flowers or cards, please take a loved one out to dinner and raise your glass in a simple gesture of adieu. You can always end the evening with a tall glass of milk filled with Oreos! Thank you from all of our family!
A Memorial Service will be held at Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service on Saturday, December 8 at 2:00 P.M.
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service. www.dokkennelson.com