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Leslie Jensen

April 19, 1944 - July 29, 2018

Visitation - Thursday

August 02, 2018
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Boulger Funeral Home & Celebration of Life Center, Fargo

Funeral Service - Friday

August 03, 2018
- 11:00 AM

Olivet Lutheran Church, Fargo

Visitation - Friday

August 03, 2018
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Olivet Lutheran Church, Fargo

Burial

August 10, 2018

United States Air Force Academy Cemetery, Colorado Springs, CO

Arrangements

Boulger Funeral Home

Leslie Jensen

April 19, 1944 - July 29, 2018

Obituary

Leslie C. Jensen, 74, passed away July 30, 2018 at Essentia Health Hospital, Fargo.

Leslie was born April 19, 1944 to Leonard and Bertha (Sundvor) Jensen in Grafton, North Dakota. He grew up in Edinberg, North Dakota where he attended school and graduated high school. Then he continued his education at the University of North Dakota and later was appointed to the United States Airforce Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He graduated from the academy which led him to his career in the Air Force where he was later deported to Vietnam as a fighter pilot. After his Air Force career ended, he joined the Air National Guard and went back to school and graduated with a masters degree in music education. He then went on to teach music in high school and later after moving to Fargo he substituted as a music teacher in the Fargo school district. Leslie was a member of the Golden Notes Senior Band which he loved dearly and spent his time playing for local nursing facilities. He also was an active member on the board at Sunset Memorial Gardens, Fargo.

Leslie is survived by his beloved wife, Pam Jensen; sons, Matt (Erica) Jensen, Mike (Jennifer) Jensen; granddaughters, Sierra, Kenna; brother, Gilbert Jensen; two step sons and wives; many step grandchildren and step great grandchildren; and two cats, Tux and Tiger.

Leslie was preceded in death by parents, Leonard Samuel Jensen and Bertha Christina Jensen; and sister Leona Zastera.

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41 responses to “Leslie Jensen”

  1. Carol Graalum says:

    So sorry to hear about Les’ passing. We went to highschool together and were “Facebook” friends. He loved to share his flight memories and deep love of music. Blessings to Pam and the rest of his family

  2. Judy Sundvor Wait says:

    I will miss our banter on Facebook of ‘go Cubs and from me ‘go Sfgiants and your messages Cubs Win!! Especially when Cubs and Sfgiants played each other. My condolences to Les’s family. I love listening to your music on you tube. You will be missed cousin. Love Judy Sundvor Wait

  3. Rick Thomasson says:

    Please accept my condolences to Les’s family.
    I knew Les in High School and played basketball against him while growing up in Gardar.
    I had renewed my friendship with Les in the last couple of years thru Facebook, and was looking forward to seeing him when I came back to North Dakota.
    As per Les’s generosity, he even invited me to stay with him.
    I am deeply sorry for your familie’s loss.
    Sincerely,
    Rick & Pam Thomasson

  4. Sue Libby says:

    Les and I worked together at Indianola Middle School. I taught chorus and he taught the orchestra. We shared a lot of techniques and learned so much from each other. Once we found out we both had Norwegian heritage with several other teachers we then celebrated Norway’s Independence Day each year! So sorry to hear of his passing. Prayers to his family.

  5. Jim Common says:

    Les will be watching his beloved Chicago Cubs from above while playing his guitar. 🙂

  6. John Monroe says:

    My deepest sympathy to the Jensen family. It was a great loss. Les taught orchestra at Indianola High School and was an inspiration to his students and fellow educators. I had the honor of being the principal at Indianola High School where Les taught. I enjoyed our conversations when we talked about his guitar playing, the Air Force, and his family. I told him it was quite a combination; fighter pilot, orchestra teacher, and playing all kinds of music on his guitar. Les will be remembered by me as being patriotic, a dedicated educator, and a good friend.

  7. Thelma Olson Kurtz says:

    So sorry to hear of his passing. My condolences to his family.

  8. Claudia Schooler says:

    A bright light has gone out. Thanks for instilling a love of music in so many students in Indianola, Iowa and elsewhere.

  9. Emmy Bowlin says:

    My heart breaks to read this. Mr. Jensen was a HUGE part of my middle school and high school years. He saw potential in me and nourished my love for music. When I look back on high school, he is always there in my memories. He was like a second father to me those 4 years. I am so happy we were able to stay connected through Facebook. He always made sure to stay in touch. I have so many awesome memories with him. From the Teddy Bear Concert to Kennedy Honors Orchestra. I am so sorry for your loss. He was a great, great man and will be very missed.

  10. Adam Kruse says:

    I wouldn’t be who I am today if it wasn’t for Mr. Jensen. He was my orchestra teacher all through middle school and most of high school. He helped me get into the Air Force Academy and set me on my military career. He will be missed.

  11. Lori Risdal says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about Les’ passing. My husband and I played many a country jam with Les, and served with him at the 185th ARW, Iowa Air National Guard. My favorite memory of him was him laughing so hard at my daughter who was showing him her imitation of a skunk – he was taking care of her at a jam while we took our turn on stage. 🙂 ❤ God bless, Les – fly high!

  12. Diane Fossum says:

    So sorry to hear this. Praying for all of you

  13. Joe Holbrook 7th Squadron ‘67 says:

    Sorry to lose Les, a great 6th Squadron Brother. I have enjoyed staying connected with Les thru Facebook. I’ve enjoyed his music, his Edinburg photos and sharing AirPower with him. His passion for anything music 🎶 was immeasurable. Enjoy your High Flight, Les.

  14. Rita (Monson) Mielke says:

    Leslie & I have been friends for 74 years! We grew up together in Edinburg & spent much time together as our parents were friends also. Memories have flooded my mind the last few days. Rest In Peace dear friend. Your last be of country music will live on in my heart.

  15. Emily Tjarks says:

    I’m so sorry to hear of Mr. Jensen’s passing. He was a wonderful man & and even better teacher! Like many others, he encouraged me & my love for music throughout my middle school and part of my high school years in Indianola. Wishing you all peace & comfort!

  16. Linda Meyer says:

    Les encouraged my daughter in orchestra in the Indianola schools. Beneath that gruff exterior was a heart of gold! He did a lot of kind things for a lot of kids. I pray God’s blessings to his family to ease their grieving.

  17. Bruce McDonald says:

    My sincere condolences to Les’ family and his many friends. I knew him years ago as an Air Force Academy classmate, and we reconnected in recent years through some of his many musical endeavors. He was such a versatile and well-rounded man, with so many diverse accomplishments, talents, and interests. We have lost a fine patriot, friend, teacher and role model. In the words of one of his songs, “He’s flying with eagles now.”

  18. Jim Shaw says:

    Cindy and I have fond memories of Les while he and I were cadets together at the Air Force Academy. He loved aviation and music and shared his North Dakota stories.

    “Lord guard and guide the men who fly….”

    Jim and Cindy

  19. Lindsey Heckart says:

    I am so sorry for your loss I went to indianola high school in iowa I had him as an orchestra teacher from 6th though 9th grade… we shared a passion for bluegrass and he always encouraged me to keep practicing. I still believe if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t have found such a great passion for music. He will for ever be a huge part of my life and will be missed dearly

  20. Phyllis Baker says:

    A great loss. A kind and loyal person. He will be remembered for his friendship

  21. Vicky & Mike Brenner says:

    I had the distinct honor to teach with Les for many years at Indianola High School. I remember the road trip a group of us teachers took out to Colorado Springs to watch one of our former students play football at the Air Force Academy. Les helped so many students realize their potential. When Mike & I got married, Les travelled to NW Iowa with a quartet of his orchestra students to play at our wedding. I am grateful for his mentorship & witnessed firsthand the way he inspired young people to find their path in life. We are all better people for having known him. We hope his family finds comfort in the special memories of a life well lived. Sending love & healing for you all.

  22. Dixie Bowlin says:

    So many will miss Mr. Jensen! Facebook has kept us in touch with Mr. Jensen as well as him in touch with many orchestra students he had while at Indianola Middle and High School. My daughters, Emmalee Bowlin and Alison (Bowlin) Frank learned so much from Les as he exposed the orchestras he led to the joy their music would bring to people of all ages. They were honored to play in various cities in Iowa under his direction. My husband also served during the Vietnam War and we felt the same pride for Mr. Jensen, his patriotism and his service. Please accept our condolences as we share a portion of the grief you feel for the loss of a loved one.

  23. Hartley Troftgruben says:

    I am sorry to hear of the passing of Les Jensen. He was a relative, schoolmate, friend and scholar. We all enjoyed having him along to Norway to visit relatives and see the country. My prayers for his family and friends!

  24. Lloyd Duncan says:

    Les was a classmate and roommate in 6th Sad. at AFA.
    He was also a great friend.
    He had a very dry but wonderful sense of humor.
    I will miss him for sure.

    Lloyd Duncan

  25. J Scott Haberer says:

    I always admired Les. GOD BLESS YOU COLONEL! May God bless your family with His love, grace, and strength. Thank you for your service and your friendship! ITNOTFS&HS- Amen!

  26. Patty Considine says:

    My deepest condolences to all of you. Les was an amazing man and the 185th was so lucky to have him! I remember him from my days as a Guard member and as a peer and dear friend of my husband, Tom Considine. I am sure the two of them are in Heaven telling ‘old fighter pilot stories’ now!

  27. Jean Fat says:

    Les will be missed by many. I worked with him at the 185th. He touched so many lives.

  28. Daryl Bartek says:

    My condolences to Les’ family. Loss of a great aviator, friend and teacher. One of our leaders at the 185th for most of my time there. I give him credit for keeping his cool as everyone of us, when we were Lieutenants, tested his patience. We were like herding cats and he put up with our shenanigans and he often shared in some very good laughs. Many lives are better because of him. He will be missed. May he rest in peace!

  29. Greg Freix, USAFA '67, 8th Squadron says:

    My sincere sympathies to the extended Jensen family. While our paths did not cross following graduation, I recall Les as a classmate, friend, and genuinely good guy.

  30. Bill and Colleen Hagemeyer says:

    We were so sorry to hear of Les’ passing. Bill was in the ANG with Les for many years. We also went on deployments where Les joined us to play golf and tennis. He always aced me (Colleen) with his spin serve,laughing every time. Les was always looking for his golf ball in the desert. We called it wilderness golf! We had so much fun. Our sincere condolences to his family. He will be missed..

  31. Dave Folson says:

    I am saddened to learn of the passing of my old school mate Leslie whom I have known since he was in the first grade and I in my second, My mind wanders back to when we were very young and we used to play baseball on a vacant lot next to his parents house in Edinburg. He loved his baseball and his music. After school we went our separate ways, but connected again on facebook a few years ago. My sincere condolences to his many friends and family
    Dave Folson, Albuquerque, NM

  32. John Berzins, USAFA ‘67, Fightin’ 4th says:

    My condolences to Les’ family. I knew Les as a classmate at the Academy, as a fellow student at pilot training, and at his first assignment after returning to flight status. He was passionate about his flying and his music. A great friend and individual.

  33. Curtis J. Pansch says:

    Very sorry for your loss. My memory is a little cloudy but Les and I crossed paths in the military. As my birthday is April 20, 1944 he was a day older. I was in Vietnam and seem to recall him as an A-1 pilot? Then I also joined the Air Guard in Sioux Falls and had 32 years when I retired. He must have impressed me because I have good memories of him! I just can’t remember all the details. Curt Pansch, Sioux Falls.

  34. Jim George says:

    I had the honor and privilege of knowing Les as an Academy Classmate, a fellow A-1 Skyraider Fighter Pilot in Vietnam – and afterwards through our A-1 Association and reunions – and also when he was flying A-7s in the Guard. Les was indeed a great guy, who will be missed by all the varied communities of which he played such a big part. Godspeed, pal.

  35. Elaine Houska Crosby says:

    I first met Les while teaching at Indianola High School. He said that he would teach anyone to play guitar for no charge, all they had to do was provide the guitar. So, I asked him to pick out a guitar for me. I ordered it, received it three days after ordering it and we started meeting once a week so that I could learn to play guitar. This was in 2000. After about the third lesson, Les wanted to know if I would be interested in singing with him in nursing homes and at various other places. I said yes and he named us Buttons and Bows. We met once a week for 6 years, had numerous performances (including his master’s performance in Chicago) and traveled to each others homes when I moved to Virginia and he to Wisconsin. I still play and sing to this day and tell all my story when they want to know how I learned to play guitar. My heroes have always been cowboys, Les would sing. Here’s to you, Cowboy.

  36. Rick Weizenegger says:

    Even though Les and I were classmates, we didn’t officially meet until our paths crossed on facebook. We became friends since we flew similar aircraft. He loved posting pictures of the fighters he had flown. I’m sure he was a great pilot, but following his music career and seeing his work with young musicians and the orchestras he directed, I believe his true calling and greatest accomplishment was his career in music. I’ll will miss him and his posts.

  37. Roz Abrams Smith says:

    Dear Pam,
    I am so sad to learn of your beloved husband’s passing. My heart is broken for you at this difficult time. May the love and memories you shared strengthen you in the coming days and years.
    Your friend,
    Roz

  38. Judy Peterson says:

    So sorry Pam to hear about the passing of Les, your in my thoughts and prayers!

  39. Ray Lazenby says:

    Les was like a brother to me. We met in Viet Nam and became fast friends. He was probably one of the most interesting people that I ever knew. He really believed that no man would not want to be a fighter pilot or play the guitar. Les scared everyone in the squadron when he almost lost his life in an aircraft fire. He was evacuated to the US for a long and painful recovery from his burns. Its hard to understand now with internet information so prevalent today, but I lost contact with him. It was years later that we reconnected and Les attended many of my family’s reunions. We all loved and respected Les. He will be missed by all who knew him. I know that Steve Clarke will be there at the Gates with a warm “welcome Home”.

  40. Gregg Rosenberger says:

    I am truly saddened to hear of Les’s passing, he was my mentor when I came to Sioux City and flew the A-7. His patience with all of us Lt’s and our Lt antics, was something to be admired. Having the experience of Vietnam, he was sure to make all of us better airmen, so we would return. My leadership skills are a direct reflection of what Les taught me. I am a better man for knowing him, all my prayers to his family. Blue Skies and nice tailwinds.

  41. John Christopherson says:

    Last night I had a dream. Vivid. I was walking down a street and there was Leslie Jensen. I was impressed how readily I recognized him, and how good he looked. We met up and I asked him point blank, “aren’t you dead?” “No, I’m not”, he answered, and walked on, receding around a corner.

    I had not seen Les since singing with him in a male quartet when we were young. Leslie was a town kid, a grade higher than I, and I was a country boy, in awe. After that cycle of stellar performance together, we diverged. Far and away.

    But I think we were both exposed to something of an enduring kin, back in Edinburg. It was the authority of Jesus over life and death that we encountered, in word and practice there. “I am the resurrection and the life” was hard to get around, as young people, without some deep effect. Now, the claim comes again. And the effect is astounding.

    9-13-18

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