Former Kearney resident, 65
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TACOMA, Wash. - John Philip Jensen Jr., 65, of Tacoma died Monday, Jan. 14, 2013, in Tacoma.
Memorial services were Feb. 2 in Tacoma. Burial will be in Blair, Neb.
He was born Aug. 7, 1948, in Kearney, Neb., to John P. and Helen (Kendall) Jensen.
Survivors include his sisters, Jo Ann Entwisle of Lockport, Ill., Kay Maser of Ashland, Ore., and Ruth Jensen of Lincoln, Neb.
John was the youngest child of John P. Jensen, a Kearney attorney, and Helen Kendall Jensen, both longtime residents of Kearney. His maternal grandparents, also of Kearney, were Herbert W. Kendall and Ruth Dryden Kendall. Dryden Park was given to the city of Kearney by John N. Dryden, John's great-grandfather, who practiced law in Kearney from 1885 until 1932.
John graduated from Kearney High School in 1966 and attended Kearney State College from 1966 to 1970 and the University of Washington in Seattle. He earned his law degree from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma in 1985.
In Tacoma, he spent nearly three decades litigating civil and criminal cases. As a zealous advocate, he would take on any challenge to protect the injured, the poor and the innocent. Standing 6 feet 6 inches tall with a loud bass voice and intense arguments, it was impossible for anyone in the courtroom to ignore his presence.
One of his major legal accomplishments was championing the "Knock and Talk" rule that requires that police knock and announce themselves properly before entering a residence without a warrant, in the Washington State Supreme Court case of State v. Ferrier.
He was passionate about everything he did and lived his life with gusto. He spent much time renovating his turn-of-the-century Victorian home in Tacoma. The home was reminiscent of his childhood home in Kearney at 522 W. 22nd St.
He sailed the Atlantic Coastline down to the Caribbean and the Virgin Islands and traveled to Costa Rica, Ireland and across that country, making his unforgettable mark along the way. He loved to cook delicious meals for friends and cheer for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, the Washington Huskies, the Seahawks and Mariners. To the end, he was an old-fashioned gentleman who refused to use computers, insisted on opening doors for women and savored a good shot of fine whiskey.
Burial will be at the Jensen family ancestral site in Blair.
Published in Kearney Hub on March 2, 2013