Lowell George Tensmeyer
Passed away peacefully on the morning of Wednesday, July 3, 2013, in Provo, Utah. As was said of his father, "now there was a man. . . ." He was born February 21, 1928, to John David and Margaret Hazel Burt Tensmeyer in Pocatello, Idaho, and attended Pocatello High, graduating from East High in Salt Lake City, Utah, and earning his bachelor's and doctoral degrees in chemistry from the University of Utah. He also served at Fort Knox in the United States Army and served a mission to the Northern States Mission. He played clarinet in the Army Band and in dance bands through the northern states during his mission. He married Virginia Ann Duke on June 21, 1954, in the Salt Lake Temple, and together they raised four children: Kermit, Lisa, Richard and John. Mr. Tensmeyer was employed as a research chemist at Eli Lilly, obtaining numerous patents for pharmaceutical compounds and expanding the uses of spectroscopy in pharmacy research. Much of his energy was devoted to spiritual work both in formal positions within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and in informal work in neighborhoods, temples, and prison settings in Indianapolis and surrounding areas. His home was open to the homeless and many benefitted from his generosity. He was a scripture scholar, publishing a book on the gospel of Jesus Christ through New Testament poetry (chiasmus). He was a teacher of science, philosophy and religion, and excelled at explaining difficult concepts in accessible ways. He was a self-taught piano player and enjoyed playing and singing with his family. He pursued family history, piecing together missing pieces of his ancestry with painstaking work both in Freelandville, Indiana, and in Hamburg and Frankfurt Germany. At age 85, after the death of his wife, Virginia, on October 11, 2012, Lowell married his high school sweetheart, Miriam Marvin Petterborg on April 30, 2013. She cared for him tenderly during the last weeks of his life. Lowell is survived by his wife, Miriam, his sister, Carolyn Andersen, of Provo, Utah; his children, Kermit (Kathie) Tensmeyer of Carrollton, Texas; Lisa (Bill) Hansen of Payson, Utah; Richard (Linda) Tensmeyer of Fishers, Indiana; and John (Vicki) Tensmeyer of Cincinnati, Ohio; nineteen grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, and many more who have called him father and grandfather. He was preceded in death by his wife, Virginia, his parents, his brother, Burt Tensmeyer, and his sisters, Mary Marsh and Virginia Kemp. Interment was in the Payson, Utah,City Cemetery. A memorial service will be held Saturday Aug. 3 in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 777 Sunblest Blvd, Fishers, at 4:00 p.m.