Kenneth R. "Ken" Jensvold
Kenneth Royal Jensvold, age 97 of Faribault, died Monday, March 12, 2012 at St. Lucas Care Center, Faribault, following a brief stay and surrounded by his family.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, March 17, 2012 at First English Lutheran Church, Faribault, with the Reverend Michael Mandsager officiating. No visitation will be held; a reception will immediately follow the service at the church. Private interment will be held later at Meadow Ridge Memorial Park, Faribault.
Arrangements are being completed by the Boldt Funeral Home, Faribault.
Ken Jensvold was born July 22, 1914 to Ludwig and Inez Jensvold in Montevideo, Minnesota. He graduated from Montevideo High School in 1934 and shortly thereafter moved to Minneapolis to work in the display department of Gamble Stores. During these years Ken pursued his passion for flying and obtained his private pilot's license in 1939, with the goal of one day flying military aircraft.
He traveled to Winnipeg in 1940 to join the Royal Canadian Air Force because Canada was already at war and it offered a quicker path to military aircraft. He remained with the RCAF through 1943, serving mostly as a flight instructor, at which point he changed uniforms to join the U.S Army Air Corps. Back in the U.S., he was trained to pilot the B-26 Marauder and soon found himself leading bombing squadrons over Germany from bases in France and Holland. Altogether he completed twenty-seven missions over Europe, including participating in the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944. He was discharged from military duty in 1945 with the rank of first lieutenant. He reenlisted following the war and served as a master sergeant and flight instructor for three more years on bases in Florida and Colorado.
Part of Ken's military career was included in the 2005 book, Remembering the Good War: Minnesota's Greatest Generation, by Thomas Saylor of Concordia University in St. Paul.
Using his GI benefits, Ken completed course work at Dunwoody Institute and subsequently went to work for the State Hospital in Faribault, initially as a power plant operator and later a facilities manager. While working there, Ken met Bette Swelland, whom he married in December 1961. Together they built a home on the western shore of Cannon Lake and raised a family who came to love water, docks and boats. Ken retired from the State of Minnesota in 1979 at the age of 65. Together, Ken and Bette were tireless volunteers for the Faribault Arts Center and the River Bend Nature Center. Ken was also a founding member of the Faribault Area Community Theatre, an accomplished artist and a 58-year member of the American Legion.
Ken is survived by his wife, partner and companion of more than 50 years, Bette Jensvold of Faribault; two daughters, Nancy (and Brant) Barr of Faribault and Linda (and Steve) Bauer Burks of Royse City, Texas; a son John (and Madeline) Jensvold of Apple Valley; seven grandchildren Jake Reint, Sarah Reint, MacKenzie (and Tim) McHale, Laurel (and Michael) Chafin, Brielle Jensvold, Mallory Jensvold, and Eliza Jensvold; three great grandchildren Lochlan McHale, Sullivan McHale and Cal Chafin.
Ken was preceded in death by his parents; younger sister Phyllis; and son in law, Jeffrey Bauer.
Heartfelt thanks to the professional, caring and dedicated staff at Faribault Area Hospice and St. Lucas Care Center. Memorials preferred to Faribault Area Hospice, First English Lutheran Church or Paradise Center for the Arts.
Name: Nancy Bauer
Date: Friday March 16, 2012
Linda and Family— Our thoughts and prayers are with you. You are so lucky to have had such a wonderful dad and lots and lots of wonderful memories. Sending lots of love your way! Bruce, Nancy and Marilyn
Name: Alan Krueger
Date: Thursday March 15, 2012
Hi Linda. Your Dad wss quite a guy. My condolences! Pax. alan
Name: Heather Rein
Date: Thursday March 15, 2012
I am sorry to hear of Ken's passing. I am a firend of Jake's and have heard many happy and funny stories about his grandpa. May many loving memories help you through this sad time.
Name: Greg Anderson
Date: Wednesday March 14, 2012
Dear Nancy, I want you to know that you and your family have my deepest sympathy is the passing of your father. No matter how old they are or how old we are, there never is a right time. You are in my prayers. Greg
Name: Janet Bellows Worms
Date: Tuesday March 13, 2012
Dearest Linda John and families, Harvey and I are so sorry to hear about your dad's death. We are wishing you peace and love at this hard time, for all of you. Best, Janet
Name: Shirley Schroeder Owens
Date: Monday March 12, 2012
Well Ken, you are now flying with the angels in heaven. What a kind and caring gentleman you were through-out your long life.You will be missed by your wonderful wife Betty along with your children and Grandchildren. My prayers are with you all and may God Bless you. Shirley Owens.