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John "Jack" Kenneth Jensen died peacefully on April 23, 2014, under hospice care at Northwest Community Hospital with family at his side. Jack was born Jan. 29, 1919, to Henry and Agnes (Fiderlick) Jensen in Fort Dodge, Iowa, and grew up with his younger brother, Don, and sister, Dorothy (Bahls). In his 95 years, Jack was blessed to marry two lovely and loving women. He and Viola Virginia "Jiny" (Miller) married in July of 1944. They raised a family and built a happy life until her death on Oct. 23, 1998. On May 31, 2003, Jack married long time family friend Dorothy (Kris) Howard at the Inverness Golf Club and they have enjoyed 11 loving years together. Jack learned early the value of hard work and discipline. As a boy in Iowa he delivered papers, mowed lawns, and did other jobs to earn money. In high school and college he continued to work to support himself and complete his education, first at Fort Dodge Junior College and then at Northwestern University where he was a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity. Jack's education was interrupted by the draft in 1941. Within a few months of arriving at Ft. Bragg he advanced from Private to Sergeant in the US Army, and in 1942 entered Field Artillery Officer Candidate School at Fort Sill. In 1943 Jack was asked by Major General Grimes to be his Aide de Camp, and he spent the remainder of the War with the General in the United States and Puerto Rico where the General commanded the Caribbean forces. In May of 1946 Jack was discharged as a Major to return home because his father was critically ill. A year later he moved with Jiny to Illinois to resume his senior year at Northwestern. Following graduation Jack joined the Continental Illinois Bank of Chicago where he worked until his retirement as Vice President on July 1, 1979. Jack and Jiny were high school sweethearts. During the War, They became engaged and married while Jack was stationed at Camp Polk. They honeymooned in Houston, Texas. With the General they travelled to Fort Riley and spent two years in San Juan, Puerto Rico before returning to the States to complete their education and start their family. In 1949, their son John Kenneth Jr. was born followed by Kent Douglas in 1951. The family lived in Park Ridge until they built their home in Inverness, IL, where Jack lived until 2012. Even after their sons moved away and began families of their own, Jack and Jiny enjoyed hosting friends and family and made their house a second home for their eight grandchildren. Jack was a dedicated husband and father, attending his sons' sporting events and investing his holidays vacationing with his family. Jack's example made a lasting impact on subsequent generations, building a close and loving family even as his grandchildren have children of their own. At the time of his death, Jack had 13 great-grandchildren and they brought him great joy. In 2003 Jack married Kris Howard and they enjoyed a honeymoon in Alaska. Kris and her late husband were long-time friends of Jack and Jiny through the community and the Inverness Golf Club. In their decade together Jack and Kris travelled, enjoyed time with friends and with one another, and quickly came to love one another's children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Jack began playing the piano when he was young and continued playing it up until his death. It was a source of great joy for him and for his family. Jack loved to travel. With his family he visited much of the United States and many countries around the world. In retirement Jack and Jiny took many vacations overseas and around the country with their R.V. In his later years Jack and Kris would travel the country to see friends and family and enjoy time together. Jack was a life-long learner and would eagerly read novels and books including politics, history, and religion. He was an avid reader of the Wall Street Journal. He also enjoyed playing golf and socializing with his friends at the Club. Jack was raised Methodist and was a member of Palatine Methodist Church until 2002 when he joined Kris at the Presbyterian Church of Barrington. He remained a member there until his death. Jack valued the teaching as well as the community and support they received from their church. Jack had many conversations about faith with his sons and grandchildren and even in his last days his thoughts turned to church and what he has learned about the Lord. Even as we grieve his death, we thank God, knowing that Jack has been a blessing to each of us. We hold on to the hope that his faith is now sight and that he sees his Savior face to face. In addition to his parents, Jack is preceded in death by his first wife Viola Virginia "Jiny" (Miller) Jensen, his brother Don (Mobby) , and his sister Dorothy (Carl Bahls). Jack is survived by his wife Dorothy (Kris) Howard Jensen and her family; his son John (Mary) Jensen of Cincinnati, Ohio and his family: Philip (Tiffany) Jensen, Andrew Jensen, Joanna (Eric) Kreyling, Brian (Liz) Jensen, and their children; his son Kent (Margaret) Jensen of St. Charles, IL, and his family: Karin (Randy) Tuurie, William (Kristin) Jensen, Tovey (Robert) Schmidt, and Brady (Brynne) Jensen, and their children; and his nieces and nephews and their families. Funeral service will be held on Sunday, April 27, at the Presbyterian Church of Barrington at 6 Brinker Road, Barrington, IL 60010. The service will be at 3pm preceded by a fellowship time beginning at 2pm.
Published in Chicago Suburban Daily Herald on Apr. 26, 2014
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