John Jelen Sr., 86, of Arvada, CO passed away on December 11, 2020 at his home surrounded by family. Born on July 31, 1934 in Slovenia he was the son of Franz and Elizabeth Jelen. John married Irene (Lenz) on January 10, 1959 in Berlin, Germany and together they shared 46 years of marriage until her passing in 2005.
John was a Sergeant Major in the United States Army, serving 27 years. He served as an Armor Crewman, in Special Forces with one year in Vietnam with the 5th SF group, as a 1SG in a paratrooper company and as a battalion and post sergeant major.
He will be remembered as a loving husband, father and grandfather and great grandfather. He will also be remembered for his service to his country and as an arborist who planted many trees and shrubs in Denver and the surrounding areas.
John is survived by his sons, John Jelen Jr. and Ricky Jelen and his wife, Latta, grandchildren: Megan (husband Shaun), Christopher, Carson and Cassidy and great-grandchildren: Jude, Sonya, Mia, Zeke and sisters Elizabeth Paulino and Vida Smith.
In addition to his parents and his wife, he is preceded in death by his brothers Franz Jr., Joseph, Stanley, Ferdinand and Michael.
A Funeral Mass will be held on Tuesday, December 22, 2020 at 11:00 am. Visitation will start at 9:30 am with a Rosary at 10:30 am all at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, 12735 W. 58th Ave. Arvada, CO 80002. Due to current cemetery limitations, burial with full military honors at Fort Logan National Cemetery will be private. Live streaming will be available for the Funeral Mass here https://youtu.be/HrQXuqIutpM
Published in Colorado Community Media on Dec. 17, 2020.