Last Tuesday, a print production day at The Public, we received word that Tim Sentman had died. The news cast a pall over the day, and the sense of loss continues to deepen, here and throughout Buffalo’s cultural community, in which Sentman was a well loved and admired fixture. Below is a remembrance composed by his family. We will publish remembrances and photos from his friends and artistic collaborators as we collect them. Good night, Tim, and farewell. You are missed.
Timothy Patrick Sentman, 37, passed away on March 12, 2018 in Buffalo, New York. Always the responsible one, he was born on his due date, December 24, 1980, to Chuck Sentman and Christine (Olender) Sentman in Kenmore, New York. He looked up to his older brother Michael, and looked after his younger brother Christopher, and was deeply loved by both.
He attended St. Amelia’s School and Kenmore East High School, distinguishing himself in sports by playing football at Kenmore East and receiving a penalty during his St. Amelia’s soccer career for running too fast. His early accomplishments extended to the artistic realm as well. In second grade he won a $100 savings bond in a poster contest sponsored by AAA promoting traffic safety. This was evidently something of a formative experience, as some of his strongest and most admirable traits were his artistic talent, fiscal savvy, and near-compulsive sense of responsibility.
Tim’s work ethic was legendary. He started early with a paper route and delivering the news via bicycle every day for several years. His stint as Burger King’s best employee earned him enough to buy his first car, a navy blue Ford Escort with cow-patterned seat covers, with cash. He then went on to work at Toys R Us and stayed there for five years until he was fully vested in his profit sharing plan. It was there that he met Jerid his friend who was like a third brother to him. He also became part of his extensive group of friends and they have stayed in touch all these years. He kept working, saving enough to support an extended academic career first at Erie Community College and later at the University at Buffalo, where his fascination with sociology and his love of learning led him to the threshold of a Ph.D.
He worked for many years at Roswell Park, conducting surveys for smoking cessation programs, and most recently as a Quality Assurance Analyst at Liazon, where he loved losing himself in data every day.
It was in Buffalo’s art and music scene where Tim truly blossomed. As the eponymous front alien of the face-melting avant-garde progressive rock ensemble Blue Lazer, he introduced the world to his home planet and displayed both his intellect and humor with dazzling and hilarious pieces about kittens delivering pizzas in space, among other topics. He found an artistic home as an essential and beloved part of Buffalo’s Infringement Festival, bringing music, poetry and spoken word to the streets of Buffalo for nearly 10 years. Playing at the 2017 Music is Art Festival was a highlight, both for him and for those who loved him.
Tim was a cherished old soul — brilliant, funny, kind, compassionate. He is survived by his parents, Charles and Christine, brothers Michael and Christopher, his niece Viera and his nephew Damien and many aunts, uncles and cousins, and friends in Buffalo, across the country and around the world too numerous to count. He made a difference to all of us and the world is a little less vibrant for his leaving.