Arthur Richard Saenz, “Art” passed away peacefully on Sunday, October 20, 2019 in Arlington, Virginia surrounded by his family. Art was born on September 27, 1962 to Richard and Berna Saenz in Florence, Arizona. He grew up in Huachuca City, Arizona with his two younger brothers and graduated from Tombstone High School in 1980.
Art followed in his father’s footsteps and attended Arizona State University, where he graduated in 1984 with a degree in Computer Science. A job as a computer programmer with the CIA took him to Washington, D.C. after college. After working at the CIA for fifteen years, he took a job as an IT Program Specialist with the National Science Foundation where he worked until he passed away. In total, Art dedicated 35 years of his life to public service for the federal government. His humor and dedication made an impression on so many of the friends he made during his long government career.
In 1992, Art married Deanne Sobczak and they purchased their beautiful house on the best street in Arlington and lived there for 27 years. Art and Deanne have two sons, Alexander and Eric. Art was a devoted and loving father. His sons meant everything to him and his love for them knew no bounds.
Art was a passionate, lifelong fan of sports, especially baseball. It was his belief that baseball was a metaphor for life and fittingly his first date with Deanne was at a Baltimore Orioles game. An unrivaled encyclopedia of baseball facts and statistics, Art played baseball, softball and other sports for most of his life. At one time, he played on four softball teams, coaching two of them.
He also coached numerous youth baseball and basketball teams throughout his life. If he wasn’t coaching, he attended every single one of the hundreds of games played by his sons and acted as assistant coach or scorekeeper. During his years of coaching, he was a tremendous influence on the players he coached. His passion and dedication touched the lives of countless kids and their families.
Art served on the Arlington Senior Babe Ruth Baseball Board. Until his final days, Art continued to organize games, schedule umpires, and communicate with coaches. His passion for helping Arlington youth play baseball was inspiring and remarkable. He was so dedicated that if an umpire wasn’t able to make it, Art would show up behind the plate himself. Nothing, not even illness could stop Art from making sure kids could play baseball. Art rooted for the San Francisco Giants and the Washington Nationals and was ecstatic that the Nats made it to the World Series.
Art had a knack for befriending and meaningfully connecting with people from all walks of life. Growing up, he was friends with all groups, from athletes to members of the calculator club that he founded. One of his special talents was giving out nicknames that he made sure stuck, even 25 years later.
Art’s larger-than-life personality could light up a room. His boundless, quirky, and infectious sense of humor always delighted. He was so good at making people laugh. He had a one in a million gift of being able to relate to anyone no matter their background, as shown by the numerous communities that he was a part of. Art was a genius with numbers. He could calculate statistics and figure out problems at lightening speed in his head. He was always learning something new, and frequently developed newfound interests in a wide array of topics. More often than not he could be spotted reading a biography or watching a documentary about history, politics, the economy, technology, film— you name it. Music was another passion of his, particularly the Beatles, Motown artists, and disco. He loved laughing and dancing and he danced with the same intensity and passion that he brought to all the things he loved. He was a beautiful, selfless soul who loved his family and friends dearly. His two sons were the world to him, and he truly cherished each and every moment that he was able to spend raising them into young men.
Art is survived by his wife of 27 years, Deanne Sobczak and by his two sons, Alexander and Eric. Other survivors include his parents, Berna and Richard Saenz of Huachuca City, Arizona; brother Robert Saenz; brother Mario Saenz and wife Tanya; father-in-law James Sobczak; sister-in-law Sandra Beckett and husband James; brother-in-law Jimmy Sobczak and wife Jeanne; sister-in-law Christine Lyden and husband Mitchell; nephews Matthew Beckett and wife Sonya, Andrew Saenz and wife Jenna, Nicholas Sobczak, Manuel Saenz, Gabriel Saenz, and Zachary Saenz; nieces Jamie Beckett, Jacquelyne Balan and husband Dimitri, Jessica Beckett, and Allison Sobczak; great nephews Pierce Beckett and Noah Saenz; and great niece Elizabeth Beckett. Art is also survived by so many loving aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.
The family will receive friends October 28 from 2 to 4 pm and 6 to 8 pm at Advent Funeral Services. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Ann Catholic Church, 5300 North 10th Street, Arlington, VA 22205 on October 29 at 11 am. Donations can be made in Art’s name to the Ruesch Center for the Cure of Gastrointestinal Cancers, ruesch.georgetown.edu/gift.