Arthur James (Tootie) Jensen Art was born on February 14, 1933 to Peter and Christine Jensen in Tulare, California and passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on February 17, 2013 after a lengthy battle with cancer. A lifelong resident of Tulare, Art, also known as Tootie, attended Wilson School, Cherry Avenue School, and graduated from Tulare Union High School in 1951. While in high school he excelled as an athlete on the track and basketball teams and in 1951 he was honored as the Redskin of the Year. He met the love of his life, the former Shirley Ann Babb, who was the little sister of some of his best friends Bill and Wiley Babb. After a four year tour of duty in the Navy he returned home and they were married on March 9, 1957. Together they had three children, Kent and his wife Susane, Rhonda Junio and her husband Frank and Jay and his fiancée Rosie. His family eventually grew to include eight grand-children, Connor and Chase Jensen, Frankie Junio and his wife Diana, Ryan Junio and his wife Michelle, Lauren Junio, and Regan, Carly and Gerrit Jensen and two great grandchildren Gage and Ryker Junio and a third great grandchild on the way. Art worked as a route salesman for Knudsen Creamery for eighteen years and retired from the Tulare City Elementary School District in 1995 after a twenty year career as the maintenance and transportation supervisor. Dad always supported and participated in the activities of his children. He coached Little League and Babe Ruth Baseball, and was a past president of the Tulare Eastern Little League. When Kent and Jay played high school sports he rarely missed a football, basketball or baseball game. As a young man he loved the outdoors and hunting and fishing trips with his friends and family. From the time he was a teenager he devoted much of his free time to his racing pigeon hobby and was a member of the Visalia Racing Pigeon Club for over forty years. Later in life he loved watching San Francisco Giants baseball, Forty-niner football and college basketball. Making a sudden trip to Lake Tahoe or Las Vegas was never out of the question and he and Shirley did it often. After retirement he looked forward to his morning coffee meeting with his buddies at the local donut shop. Art was preceded in death by his parents and his brothers Daniel, Virgil and Dwight. He is survived by his sisters Rosetta Yorke (Fresno) and Anna Marie Southard (Scottsdale, Arizona), his wife of nearly 56 years, Shirley, and all of his children, grand children and great grand children. Graveside services will be Friday, February 22 at 1:30 p.m. at Tulare District Cemetery. His family is thankful for the support and assistance provided by Kaweah Delta Hospice (900 West Oak Street, Visalia, California 93291) and the staff of Tulare Evangelical Free Church (2100 East Cross Avenue, Tulare, California 93274). In lieu of flowers the family asks that remembrances be made to either of these wonderful organizations. Arrangements are by Peers Lorentzen Funeral Service in Tulare. Condolences may be emailed to email@example.com
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Published in Visalia Times-Delta and Tulare Adv-Register on Feb. 21, 2013