Kenneth Julian Jensen, 100, of Breckenridge, MN, passed away on November 7, 2015, at St. Francis Heath Care Campus in Breckenridge. The funeral service will be held at the United Methodist Church in Breckenridge, MN, at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, November 13, with visitation one hour prior. Pastor Mark Gronseth will be officiating. The interment will be at Riverside Cemetery in Breckenridge.
Ken was born on October 27, 1915, to Herman and Ingeborg (Lee) Jensen on a farm near Spiritwood, ND, close to Jamestown. When Ken was in seventh grade, the family moved to Dilworth, MN, where he graduated from Dilworth High School in 1933. In the midst of the Depression, Ken joined the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a public works project for environmental conservation, stationed near Ely, MN, in order to support himself and to send money home. In 1936 he attended mortuary school in Chicago while interning with his uncle. He graduated but decided to pursue his interests in science and math at Moorhead State Teachers College, where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in 1942. While in college, he met Luella Lewis, whom he married on June 26, 1944, at the Hawley Methodist Church in Hawley, MN. The couple made their home in Breckenridge, where Ken had already begun his career as a beloved math and science teacher. Over the years Ken earned the respect and admiration of his peers and students alike and was fondly referred to as "Doc." Ken retired in 1981 after teaching in the Breckenridge Schools for 39 years. Following his retirement, he was the custodian at the United Methodist Church for many years.
Ken was an active participant in the Breckenridge community. A devoted Christian, he was a faithful member of the United Methodist Church, attended Bible studies at both the Methodist and the Breckenridge Lutheran churches, and memorized scripture. He sang in both the church choir and in the Alphean Male Chorus. He also belonged to the Federation of Teachers and the Minnesota Education Association and regularly attended breakfasts with the Breckenridge Retired Teacher s. A charter member of the Breckenridge Lions Club, he continued to be involved in club activities. Later in life, he enjoyed activities at both the Breckenridge and the Wahpeton Senior Citizen Centers including playing bridge, pinochle, and whist weekly. He continued almost all of these activities until he broke his hip three months ago.
Ken also enjoyed gardening, especially raising his beautiful gladiola flowers. He loved to fish, both in local lakes and in Canada. He hunted deer with his son well into his 90s, enjoyed a good game of Scrabble, and never missed an opportunity to gather with family. Until entering the hospital in August, he wrote a weekly email letter to a wide group of family members, usually celebrating or bemoaning his wins or losses at bridge.
Ken will be deeply missed by his children, Muriel (Charles) Joop of Borup, MN, and Douglas (Jeanne) Jensen of Hopkins, MN; three grandchildren, Gregory Joop, Kristina (Scott) Rouw, and Petra Jensen; step great grandson, Jacob Rouw; sister, Patricia Bartness of Williston, ND; sister-in-law, Susan Sorenson of Woodbury, MN; and many nieces and nephews. Ken is preceded in death by his wife, Luella; parents, Herman and Ingeborg; granddaughter, Karolyn Joop; brother, Arthur Jensen; and sister, Irene Jensen.