Robert Eugene Jensen died Wednesday, June 1, 2011 at Riverview Terrace Assisted Living, St. Luke Lutheran Homes, Spencer, Iowa. A celebration of his life will be held at 2 p.m., Sunday, June 26, at Trinity Lutheran Church, 213 N. Penn Ave, Mason City, Iowa with Pastor Kathy Graves officiating. Friends are asked to come and share memories with the family and each other. There will be no visitation as Bob’s body was donated to the University of Iowa Medical School at his request.
Bob was born Dec. 21, 1922 in Clear Lake, one of five children of Jens P. Jensen and Marie Katrine Sorensen Jensen. He graduated from Clear Lake High School in l941. Upon graduation, he went with construction crews from Clear Lake to Alaska to help with the building of the Alaskan Highway. He had many memories of this experience that he enjoyed sharing.
Bob married Jeanne L. Davis on June 20, l946 at Zion Lutheran Church in Clear Lake.
He furthered his education at University of Iowa becoming an x-ray technician and worked at Park Clinic/Memorial Hospital (later North Iowa Medical Center) for 38 years. During his career in radiology, he served twice as president of the Iowa Society of Radiologic Technologists, in l952 and again in l970. He was also active in the American Society of Radiologic Technologists and in l974 was invited to present the Matthew J. Keilly Memorial Lecture.
Bob was an active and enthusiastic member of the Mason City Evening LIons Club beginning in l975, initiating and coordinating many service and community projects, serving as president in l980, and he was elected District Governor in l984. He received the Melvin Jones Fellow Award in l990. Bob also volunteered his time and efforts on behalf of Mason City’s Mayor’s Task Force on Drug Abuse, on the American Cancer Society Board of Directors, as a board or officer of the North Iowa Chapter of the Iowa Council for the Blind, and as a docent at the Meredith Willson Music Square.
A “second home” for Bob was Trinity Lutheran Church of Mason City where he taught Sunday School, served terms on the Parish Education board, and as a delegate to Waldorf College. He regularly attended and took leadership roles for the weekly Men’s Breakfast and Bible Study group. He served on the board of the NE Iowa Synod Board of Men in Mission of the ELCA and was a member of the Bishop’s Task Force. He also served on the Trustees committee of the OK House, a former campus ministry for NIACC students. For many years he coordinated the Meals on Wheels service project for Trinity.
Besides volunteering for church and community, Bob most enjoyed his woodworking shop spending many hours remodeling the house at 1024 1st St. SW and building beautiful furniture grade pieces.
Railroading was another strong interest, as one of his close friends was George Cahalan, who worked for the Milwaukee Railroad. He passed this interest on to his son, Joel who is a successful published author and photographer of the rail. In his retirement years, Bob and Jeanne enjoyed wintering in sunny, warm Ventura, Calif. making a new church family and many friends. For many years they pulled their pop-up camper and made friends with other “snowbirds” at a state campground. He enjoyed the trip out to the coast, traveling down two-lane roads. In later years their son Joel drove them out to a condo at Carpinteria, Calif. where, once again, they involved themselves with a Lutheran church family/congregation.
For many years Bob enjoyed the game of golf, always walking the course. He had stories to tell of his caddy days at the Clear Lake Golf Course. Bob had played football at Clear Lake High School and enjoyed watching sports on TV and keeping up with the Clear Lake Lions. After his wife’s death in October 2009 and a bout with pneumonia in December 2009, Bob moved to Riverview Terrace in Spencer. Here, once again, he made many new friends and also continued his love of the two-lane road by exploring the county blacktops and small rural communities in NW Iowa.
The past two years he was an active part of his granddaughter’s life attending many dance recitals, piano recitals, volleyball games, and family gatherings.
He renewed his skill at making Danish Christmas goodies and visited Danebod at Tyler, Minn. and Tivoli Fest at Elkhorn, Iowa. Porch-sitting at his daughter’s family acreage and bird-watching rounded out his days.
Bob is survived by one daughter, JeanAnn Pixie Jensen and husband, Craig Cadman, of Sioux Rapids, Iowa; one son, Joel Jensen of Ely, Nev.; and one grand daughter, Katrine S.Cadman.
He was preceded in death by his wife Jeanne L. (Davis) Jensen and a brother, Warren Jensen and sister, Doris McCann.