Thesenga, Jon (Jack) Peter Happy Trails to Jack who rode away on his beautiful white horse to the skies above on Friday, April 19, 2013 in Scottsdale, Ariz. He was 76. Jack was born in Aberdeen, S.D. on May 21, 1936. He grew up in South Minneapolis and enjoyed spending time at the family's Circle T Ranch in Avon, S.D. He was a 1954 graduate of Minneapolis Roosevelt High School and attended the University of Minnesota where he was on the football and wrestling teams. Everyone knew that Jack bled maroon and gold. He was a Korean War veteran who later became a successful salesman, entrepreneur, and founder, president and CEO of Nasco, a wholesale welding and safety supply company, and Avon Enterprises. He was an avid sports enthusiast, rancher, horseman, cowboy, dancer, singer (well, he thought so), hunter, and fisherman. Jack enjoyed raising horses and llamas, and boating at their summer home, Carefree Farms in Balsam Lake, Wis. More than these things, Jack was a loving, generous and supportive husband, a devoted father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He was a deeply respected employer and mentor, and a loyal friend to many. Jack could melt your heart with his contagious signature smile and you were reminded of his strength with his firm handshake. Everyone around him gleaned something from his character. Jack was a proud member of the 54 Sportsmen's Club and also a member of the Caballeros Del Norte, Verde Vaqueros and Carefree Rancheros riding clubs. He was a founding member of the Minneapolis Heart Institute, a member of the Minneapolis Lions Club and the U of M's Presidents Club as well as many other organizations. Jack is preceded in death by his parents, Leslie and Louise (Hornstra) Thesenga and, in-laws, Aggie and Roy Scarcliff. He is survived by his loving wife of 30 years, Mary, and four children, Susan Thesenga Gonsior, Sally Thesenga Goodsell (Rick), Missy Myers (Randy) and Scott Thesenga; five grandchildren, Dennis Powers (April), Michelle Powers (Ryan Olson), Nicholas and Bryce Goodsell, and Lindsey Gonsior; three great-grandchildren, Clifford, Reese and Randall Powers; and, brother, Bruce Thesenga and family. Jack also leaves behind his cherished, curly-haired "Princess Sophie." A celebration of Jack's life will take place at Southview Country Club, 239 Mendota Road East, West St. Paul, Minn., on Sunday, May 5 at 2:30 p.m., followed by a reception from 3:30-5:30 p.m. A private burial at Fort Snelling National Cemetery will be held on a later date. Memorials in Jack's honor can be made to the Minneapolis Heart Institute.
This obituary was originally published in the Star Tribune.