It is with great sadness that the UCSC Fire Department shares the news of the passing of retired Fire Chief Richard "Ted" Hensley, who died on January 28, 2014 at the age of 70.
Chief Hensley served in the fire service in Santa Cruz County for over 30 years. He began his career with the former Live Oak Fire Protection District (now part of Central Fire Protection District of Santa Cruz County) in 1967. In 1975, he was one of the first three Lieutenants hired by UCSC to supervise the newly formed campus Fire Department's Student Firefighters. According to retired UCSC Fire Captain Don Brookes, who was one of those first Student Firefighters, Chief Hensley's training and mentorship directly led to many of them going on to fire service careers after graduating. He was later promoted to Assistant Chief of Training and Operations and to Fire Chief during his final year with the department. He was also a well known fire service instructor through Cabrillo College and the county ROP program. Upon his retirement from UCSC and the fire service, Chief Hensley further served as a school teacher in both Oakland and Watsonville before moving to Oregon.
He is survived by his wife Patty, his son Justin, his daughter Elizabeth, his grandchildren Phillip, Benit and Charlotte; and his siblings DeEtta, Janice, Jerilyn, Cynthia, Pamela, Kathy and Jimmy.
A local Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, February 15 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM at the Kennolyn Camp, located at 8400 Glen Haven Road in Soquel. Please RSVP through the website that has been established by his family. Current and former fire service personnel are welcome to attend in uniform if they desire.