EAGLE RIVER/ BLUE MOUNDS/ LEAVANWORTH, Kan - Kenneth Allan Jensen left behind the wonderful stories of his life on August 15, 2013, leaving a legacy of laughter, hard work of the most honorable sort, wisdom and steady optimism for the many people fortunate enough to have crossed paths with him.
He was born on January 24, 1930 in Everest, Kansas to Lewis Andy Jensen (Lars Anders Jensen) and Lona Jensen (née Shell), the youngest of five siblings. He diligently worked on his father’s farm all through his youth, taking on even more during the years his older brothers were gone during World War II. After he crossed the country on his Indian motorcycle, he enlisted in the Marines in San Diego. He then served four years in the Marines (1948-1952), stationed in California, where he rose to excellence as a mechanic and sharpshooter and enjoyed driving a big Packard ambulance for the Naval hospital.
Kenny married in Kansas in 1953, where his four children were born and he managed a successful dairy farm. In 1963 he moved with his family to Wisconsin and lived there the rest of his life, increasing his reputation in agriculture and trades. Kenny worked most of his life, and though he was never wealthy, he went far with what he had. His life was rich, filled with experiences and he in turn enriched the lives of people he encountered. He selflessly assisted countless people during his life not only in the form of raw help but also as a mentor. A clever and experienced person with a diverse range of skills, he generously imparted his knowledge to others, young and old. He gladly showed others how to do something and patiently allow them to try it on their own, injecting only encouragement and a few hints as needed. Those who were lucky enough to work with Kenny attained a broad range of skills and find success by following his example.
He lived the last decades of his life as a single man, and in his later years he took time off from steady, strong work well into his eighties to spend winters in Kansas at the home of his sister, as well as traveling to visit family and friends around the country. He is survived by his four children and their mother, six grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, his sister, and the multitudes of others whose lives he touched, many of which were at his side in his final days. His smiling face in photographs throughout the years is scattered in many homes far and wide, drops in an ocean of a life well lived.
"My grandfather inherited the earth on the day he was born, and in his life, without remarkable wealth, and in humble dignity, he did not squander its abundance" ~ADG
Kenny asked to be cremated with no funeral and a party instead. A tour memorial parties in three states has will take place starting in Wisconsin Aug 31-Sep 5 in Lake Mills, Eagle River, Sparta, Blue Mounds and Madison, followed by Kansas and California locations in November, details available from address below. Memorial donations may be made to the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin. The family requests that written memories/anecdotes and photographs be submitted to: Kenny Jensen Celebration , P.O. Box 5511, Madison, WI 53705 or KennethAllanJensen@gmail.com