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Donald LeVar Jensen, 99, died June 27, 2021, at the American Fork Hospital. He was born at home on May 29, 1922, in Salt Lake City, Utah, the son of Neils LeVar and Sylvia LaVon Jensen. He was the oldest of five children in a family of four boys (Don, Glen, Wally, Eddie) and one girl (Mamie).
Don was able to commemorate his 99th birthday recently with celebrations and visits from family and friends. This milestone was amazing for so many reasons, but it was the outpouring of love and the acknowledgements of a life-well-lived that meant the most to Don. The rich experiences he had during his nearly century of life were made possible because of his strong relationships. He loved to recount his experiences, particularly those from his time as an MP in the Army, landing on Utah Beach on D-Day and fighting at the Battle of the Bulge. The narratives almost always focused on how his life was made better by a friend, coworker, neighbor or family member. It would take hundreds of pages to fully tell the story of Don’s life (and it would be a page-turner), but unfortunately a brief summary of the highlights will have to suffice.
In 1942, he married Inez Myrl Colledge and their marriage was later solemnized in the Salt Lake Temple on June 6, 1962. At the time of Inez’s death in 2014, they had been married for 71 years. Inez was the love of Don’s life, and they had wonderful adventures together. They raised three children (Dona, Garth and Rebecca), lived and worked in many different cities and states, traveled extensively, were faithful members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, helped others through volunteer work, enjoyed various hobbies (especially golf, tennis and gardening) and spent lots of time with family.
In 1979, Don and Inez moved to Cleveland, Ohio where they lived until Don retired from Sherwin-Williams in 1985. Although they loved living in Ohio, they wanted to be closer to family. They decided to move back to Utah and settled in Pleasant Grove. When asked about that decision years later, Don commented, “Our decision to live in Pleasant Grove was a good one. We have excellent neighbors and a wonderful ward. I don’t think we could have lived any place that we would have liked better.” It was humbling to see how attached the neighbors were to Don and Inez and the tremendous outpouring of love and service they provided. Even up to the very last days of Don’s life, they were there to help. The family would like to express their sincerest gratitude.
Everyone who knew him is sure to recall an instance when Don took the opportunity to tease them. He loved to joke and tease – he would come up with a cute nickname or use some sleight-of-hand trick – anything to get a laugh or two. His jokes were often corny, but you just couldn’t help but find them funny because of the immense enjoyment he got from telling them. There are many in the family who believe he may have been the originator of “dad jokes” – after all, he was telling them for the better part of a century! His fun and outgoing personality will be sorely missed.
Although he had a lot of accomplishments during his life, including distinguished military service and an exemplary resume full of accolades, Don would say his greatest achievements were his children. He was enormously proud of each of them and loved them very much. He is survived by his daughter Dona Hodgkinson, Orem; his son Garth (Paula) Jensen, Mobile, Alabama; and his daughter Rebecca (Don) Harris, West Jordan; 11 grandchildren, and 20 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife Inez, his parents, his three brothers and one sister (and their spouses), Inez’s brothers and sisters (and their spouses) and his son-in-law, Larry Hodgkinson.
Funeral services will be held Tuesday, July 6, 2021, at 11:00 AM in the Pleasant Grove Utah East Stake Center, 825 South Loader Avenue (1030 East). Family and friends may call Tuesday morning before the funeral service from 9:00 AM until 10:45 AM at the stake center. Interment will be at the Lehi City Cemetery, 1100 North 400 East Lehi, Utah. Funeral directors, Olpin Family Mortuary, Pleasant Grove. Condolences may be sent to family at www.olpinmortuary.com.
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