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Harold Jensen


1930 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Harold Jensen Obituary
Harold Sherwood Jensen of Lake Forest, Illinois, and Vero Beach, Florida, died on February 8, 2018. Born in Detroit, Michigan in 1930, Mr. Jensen was the son of Harold Soren Jensen and Lyndon Elizabeth Neddermeyer who imparted to his kind nature the virtues of integrity and hard work. In 1952, Jensen graduated Michigan Technological University with a B.S. in civil engineering and went on to serve with the Army Corps of Engineers during the Korean War. In 1957, he received a master's degree from Harvard University Graduate School of Business, serving as president of his class. Following graduation, Jensen took positions with Gilbane Construction Company in Providence, Rhode Island, and Lumberman's Investment Corporation (Forestar) of Austin, Texas. He subsequently served as Assistant Vice President in charge of real estate for the Pennsylvania Railroad and Vice President in charge of real estate for Illinois Central Industries. In 1977, Jensen left I.C. Industries to become a partner and eventual Chairman of Metropolitan Structures and MS Management, completing urban projects that included Illinois Center in Chicago and California Plaza in Los Angeles. A committed advocate of urban renewal, Jensen served as a President and Life Trustee of the Urban Land Institute and Founding President of the Urban Land Foundation. He was also a member of the Visiting Committee of the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Throughout these decades, Mr. Jensen served on and supported numerous boards and organizations. In addition to myriad philanthropic interests, he served thirteen years as a trustee of Michigan Technological University Foundation, including two years as its President, Vice-Chair of the Century II Campaign, and Life Trustee of the Michigan Tech Fund. University awards included a Board of Trustees Silver Medal (1974), Honorary Doctor of Engineering Degree (1979), Chi Epsilon Honor Member (1981), and Distinguished Alumnus Award (1991). In 1993, he was inducted into the Civil and Environmental Engineering Academy. A Director of Northern Trust Bank-Lake Forest, he also served as Director of Associated Bank-Chicago and Life Director and former Chairman of Northwestern-Lake Forest Hospital. An avid skier and outdoorsman, Jensen was happiest with his family in the mountains of Colorado; with oatmeal ready and car running, he was ever excited for first tracks or a day-long trek across the Rockies┬┐ or Kilimanjaro. When he wasn't on the slopes or climbing foreign peaks, he was riding his bike or tinkering in his workshop, where the 1950s purchase of a run-down Model-T became a life-long project and the highlight of the local Independence Day parade. His generosity, kindness and good humor will be greatly missed; even more so, his optimistic belief that every new day was a better day, especially when it came with a beer. Jensen was a member of the Tavern Club and Union League Club, both of Chicago, Onwentsia Club of Lake Forest, and John's Island Club in Vero Beach. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Dona Bernard Jensen, and their four children: Barbara Jensen and Lyndon Jensen of Lake Forest, Susan Jensen Rawles of Richmond, Virginia, and Karl Bernard Jensen of Brooklyn; a daughter-in-law, Kazue Soma Jensen; a son-in-law, Benjamin Watkins Rawles III; and two grandchildren, Cornelia Stafford Rawles and Louisa Whittall Rawles. The family extends heartfelt thanks to the gifted caregivers of Mangrove at The Brennity and VNA Hospice House of Vero Beach, who imbued his days with warmth and compassion. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a . Mr. Jensen will be entombed at Lake Forest Cemetery in a private service.
Published in a Chicago Tribune Media Group Publication from Feb. 9 to Feb. 15, 2018
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