Darrell Eugene Jensen (1933 - 2016)

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Funeral services for Darrell E. Jensen, 83, were conducted by Pastor Doug Opp on Monday, Dec. 5, 2016, at 10:30 a.m. at Our Saviour's Lutheran Church in Audubon. Interment was in the Maple Grove Cemetery in Audubon. The casket bearers were Brian Jensen, David Jensen, Craig Jensen, Robin Roberts, Dana Roberts, Jordan Jensen, John Jensen, and Joshua Fastert.
Darrell Eugene Jensen, the son of Harold E. and Thelma (Rasmussen) Jensen, was born Aug. 28, 1933 at his parents' farm in rural Audubon County, and died Dec. 1, 2016, at the Friendship Home in Audubon, at the age of 83 years, 3 months, 3 days.
Darrell was raised on the family farm in rural Audubon County, near Exira. He was baptized at Our Saviour's Lutheran Church in Audubon, and confirmed at Exira Lutheran Church, Exira. He attended Exira Community Schools, graduating with the High School Class of 1952.
Following high school, Darrell farmed with his father before enlisting in the United States Marine Corps. Darrell completed recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, Calif., and advanced infantry training at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif. From 1954-1955, he served with 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division in Korea along the 38th Parallel. His responsibilities included serving as an honor guard for the repatriation of prisoners-of-war. Following his service in Korea, Darrell returned to Camp Pendleton for the remainder of his enlistment, working as a cook. He was honorably discharged Jan. 11, 1956. He earned the National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, and the United Nations Service Medal.
Darrell returned to Iowa following his military service. He farmed with his father and worked at Exira Feed. During this time, Darrell met a lovely store clerk who worked at Kearney Pharmacy in Audubon. On Nov. 24, 1956, following a whirlwind romance, he was united in marriage to Ellen Joan Jespersen at St. John's Lutheran Church, Clarinda. They lived in Audubon for a short time before moving to their farm east of Hamlin.
Darrell and Ellen raised their four children on the family farm.
Aside from spending time with their extended families, the couple enjoyed traveling. Darrell was a licensed pilot and often attended flight breakfasts as well as Flying Farmer events. The couple also attended several Marine Corps reunions around the nation.
Ellen passed away on Nov. 2, 1998. Darrell remained on the family farm until 2007, when he moved to Audubon.
Darrell was a member of Veritas Lodge 392, Dale Christensen Post No. 4119 V.F.W., American Legion Post No. 120, Audubon County Travelers Club, Audubon County Cattlemen's Association, Audubon County Pork Producers, Flying Farmers, Audubon Cooperative Board, and served as commissioner for the Soil & Water Conservation District. In 1964, the Audubon Jaycees named him Outstanding Young Farmer. In 1980, he was named Master Pork Producer.
Darrell was a long-time member of Exira Lutheran Church before returning to Our Saviour's Lutheran Church in 2008.
Darrell's hobbies included reading, writing letters, and entering sweepstakes.
Aside from his family, his passions included his 1959 Ford Fairlane Galaxy 500 and white cake with white frosting and a cup of coffee.
Preceding him in death was his wife, Ellen, his parents, and his sister, Dorothy. He was also preceded by his brothers-in-law and sister-in-law: Edwin Jespersen, Donald Jespersen, Dorothy and her husband William P. Roth, Bruce Burns, Donald Lewis, Richard Evans, Russell Jespersen, Curtis Davis, Jr., Gerald Jespersen, and Ray Burger.
Darrell is survived by his children: Brian and his wife Kathy and their daughter Shelby of Hamlin. Julie and her husband Robin Roberts of Cedar Rapids, and their children Dana and wife Lizzy and their son Matthew of Richfield, Minn., and Lauren of Denver, Colo., David and his wife Deb of Hamlin, and their children Jessica and husband Joshua Fastert and their sons Noah and Jude of Audubon, and Jordan of Audubon, Craig and his wife Shannon of Audubon, and their son John, stationed at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, NC. Darrell is also survived by his dear friend, Shirley Esbeck of Elk Horn; his brothers and sister: Jerry and his wife Rosalie Jensen of Exira, Paul and his wife Mary Jensen of Harlan, and Marilyn Jensen of Exira; his sisters-in-law: Dorothy Jespersen of Rogers, Ark., Harriet Lewis of Des Moines, Margaret Evans of Audubon, Jane Davis of Audubon, Charlene Jespersen of Exira, Janet Berger of Bella Vista, Ark.; nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.
The family would like to offer their appreciation and a special thank you to the following: Pastor Doug Opp, Audubon Friendship Home, Kindred Hospice, Audubon Family Health Care Clinic, Audubon County Memorial Hospital, Audubon County Public Health, Good Neighbor Service Center/Meals on Wheels, Audubon Fire Department, and Midwest Medical Transport Company - Midwest MedAir.
Please consider a donation to a in Darrell's name or one of Darrell's favorite charities: Audubon Friendship Home, Audubon County Hospital Foundation, Audubon Fire Department, Our Saviour's Lutheran Church, Exira Lutheran Church, or .
Published in AUDUBON COUNTY ADVOCATE JOURNAL on Dec. 9, 2016
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