James Edward Jensen was born April 18, 1930 in Olivia, Minnesota. Shortly after his birth, his mother died. His father already had four boys and one girl to take care of, so he agreed to let Alfred and Victoria Jensen adopt him. The country was in a depression, which led to Fred losing his job when the bank closed. He moved the family to Alexandria, Minnesota, where he grew up. Jobs were hard to get and the family struggled to make ends meet until Fred became the Deputy County Auditor. Jim attended Central High School and graduated in 1948.
Upon graduation, he joined the U.S. Navy and served as an aviation radioman. He was assigned to an LTA (lighter than air) squadron, and during his term of service, he put many hours as a radioman in a Navy blimp. They operated as a search & rescue mission and later during the Cold War, keeping track of submarines in the area. His travels took him from the far north to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico. Jim was discharged in 1952 and briefly attended the University of Minnesota before going to California. He hired on with Pacific Telephone and after 10 years transferred to Minneapolis, Minnesota.
He was united in marriage to Margery Bisgaard in 1955 and they lived in Riverside, California for 12 years. They were blessed with three children: Jayne, Janet, & Robert Jensen. When the bell system broke up, Jim was transferred to AT&T and took a transfer to the airport at Minneapolis, Minnesota. He worked on computer switching systems calling on large companies. He retired from AT&T after 32 years of service. Margery and Jim moved to Alexandria after they became “empty nesters” and lived on Lake Darling where they enjoyed the lake and the wildlife. He enjoyed feeding the birds and squirrels and always had a pet chipmunk who would eat out of his hand. James Edward Jensen passed away on Monday, July 12, 2021, in Alexandria, Minnesota at the age of 91.
He is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Margery; daughters, Jayne (Thomas Furlong) Dodds and Janet (Timothy) Emery; son, Robert (Kimberly) Jensen; grandchildren; Thomas Dodds, Katie (Travis) Dodds Beckwith, Adam (Justyn) Emery, Alexander Emery, Sydney Emery, Brooke Emery, Kevin (Anna) Jensen, Kellie Marie (Jake) Belski; great-grandchild, Brooklyn Jayne Beckwith; and many nieces and nephews.
Jim is preceded in death by his parents, Alfred and Victoria (Gran) Jensen, his biological parents, Adolph and Ragna Pedersen; his four brothers; and three sisters.
Visitation will be held on Friday, July 16, 2021, 12:00 – 1:00 PM at Grand Arbor in the Community Room with a Memorial Service at 1:00 PM. Burial will be at Kinkead Cemetery at 3:00 PM. For those unable to attend the service will be live streamed.