Clarence William Jensen passed away at Bozeman Deaconess Hospital on Saturday, April 4, 2009. He was born on June 16, 1921, in McCade, Mont., where his parents homesteaded after coming from Denmark. He graduated from Culbertson High School, lettering in football and basketball.
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Clarence joined the National Guard in 1938 and was activated with the 163rd Army Infantry on Sept. 28, 1943. He proudly served his country during World War II in New Guinea, where he was shot twice simultaneously and critically wounded. After being sent to many different hospitals, he was put on a Dutch freighter back to the U.S., eventually arriving in Temple, Texas, in December 1944. He was hospitalized there for many months until convincing the doctors to authorize a two-week leave to see his family back in Culbertson.
While on leave in Culbertson, Clarence met Elaine Dorothy Johnson, who had taken a high school teaching job from Minnesota. They met and fell in love.
Clarence returned to the hospital in Temple, and Elaine followed six months later. They were married Sept. 27, 1944, in the hospital where he was still confined to a bed. After being released from the hospital, he and Elaine left Temple, Texas, when Clarence was honorably discharged from the National Guard, earning the Purple Heart, Bronze Stars, the American Defense Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Theatre Ribbon with three Battle Stars and the American Theatre Ribbon and the Victoria Ribbon.
Clarence and Elaine moved to Bozeman so he could pursue a college degree. He studied his undergraduate degree at MSU, graduating with a bachelor's degree and master's degree in agriculture economics and economics in 1951 and 1952. Further graduate work at Michigan State University was completed, where he received a Ph.D. degree in agricultural economics and economics in 1958.
In 1955, Clarence was appointed assistant professor in the department of agricultural economics and economics at Montana State University, then was appointed to associate professor in 1959 and full professor in 1961. He later served as department head from 1966 to 1968.
Jointly with Gail Cramer, Clarence earned the 1980 Award for "Excellence in Quality of Communication" by the American Agricultural Economics Association for the first edition of their book "Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness," now in its eighth edition which has been translated in Spanish, Malaysian, Chinese and Russian.
Clarence was appointed professor emeritus in the department of agricultural economics and economic in 1980.
He and Elaine spent his retirement either bowling or golfing. When Montana weather was favorable they were out on the golf course, otherwise they were seen on the lanes. He was an accomplished bowler and golfer and earned many local, state and national awards. His special awards included being inducted in the Montana State Bowling Hall of Fame and serving on the board of directors at Riverside Country Club in Bozeman.
Clarence was preceded in death by his loving wife of 57 years, Elaine; a sister, Lois; brother, Carroll; brother, Ed and his wife, Ila; and a sister, Helen.
He is survived by his family that he loved: daughter, Marcia Diteman of Bozeman; son, Daryll Jensen of Helena; brother and wife, Donald and Edna Jensen of Sidney; brother and wife, Rodger and Sandra of Williams, Ariz.; grandchildren, Tami Lamar of Tampa, Fla., Dara Jensen of Helena, Trisha Jensen of Helena, and Aaron Jensen of Helena; great-grandchildren, Taylor Wilson of St. George, Utah, Kayla Wilson of Helena, Tre Lamar of Tampa, Fla., Jack Kanta of Helena, and a new great-grandchild due any day.
Clarence was a gentleman who lifted the spirits of everyone he was around. He had a smile and a "corny" joke for everyone. He loved his country and was never "down." He found the best in every situation and was never down. We, his family, have so many wonderful memories to hold close. To say we will miss him does not capture the depth of our loss.
Memorial services will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, April 10, at Dokken-Nelson Sunset Chapel.
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service; www.dokkennelson.com.
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Apr. 10, 2009