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James "JIm" H. JensenFebruary 16, 1932 ~ May 15, 2016 (age 84)
On May 15, 2016, Pentecost Sunday, late in the evening, Jim was released from his “earth suit,” peaceful in his passing, with his family at his side.
Born Feb. 16, 1932, in Kalispell, to Alvin and Georgie (Guinard) Jensen, he joined brother, Bud. At that time the family lived in Apgar where his father worked in road construction. His sister Rosemary followed years later.
Jim graduated from Charlo High School in 1950. After graduation he joined the U.S. Navy. He served his country with pride during the Korean War, and was honorably discharged in 1954.
While in the Navy, Jim met the love of his life, Jackie. They married on June 12, 1955, in Boston. They honeymooned on their cross-country trip to Montana. It was only the beginning of a love affair that would span almost 61 years!
A lifelong construction worker, he spent his life supporting his family as a skilled operator in construction. His work took them from Charlo to the four corners of Montana. Their four children, Debbie, Cindy, Laurie and Jim, were born during this phase of their journey. The family finally settled in 1967 in Libby, where Jim worked for many years on Libby Dam. They relocated to Kalispell in 1991.
Jim was known throughout Montana for his artistry with wood. Honored by the Montana Arts Council, he became a very select member of the Montana Circle of American Masters. Jim could look at a block of wood and see a bear, a cross, a flower, an angel, a “Roly-Poly” … such vision! What used to be “whittlin’ around the fire,” over time turned into art shows, and then galleries throughout Glacier Park, a totem pole in Washington, the cross at Risen Christ Parish, a bear carving relief in Washington, D.C., and various galleries across the United States.
In 1996, Jim was baptized a Catholic at Risen Christ Parish. His commitment to his faith was something Jackie was drawn to years before. His faith only grew stronger and more devout in his love of God. He had a strong bond with his spiritual family at Risen Christ Parish.
Jim was preceded in death by his father, Alvin, 1960; his mother, Georgie, 1994; and his brother, Bud, 2014.
Jim is survived by his wife, lifelong best friend, confidante and soulmate of these many blessed years, Jackie; their four children, Debbie (Brad) Moholt of Bozeman, and five sons, Matthew, Joseph, Nicholas, Patrick and Michael; Cindy Jensen of Helena, and four children, Nathaniel, Rachel, Sarah and Mary-Elizabeth; Laurie (Bill) Cole of Veradale, Washington, and three children, Brittney (David) Salter-Dhaenens, Brian Cole, and Michelle (Cory) Burch; and Jim (Vonnie) Jensen, and three children, James, Sydney and Jacklyn. Additionally, Jim and Jackie have 10 and 8/9ths great-grandchildren! He is also survived by his sister, Rosemary (Roger) Detert; and three nephews.
The family expresses their humblest gratitude to Dr. Krass, Dr. Carlburg, the hospice team, “Nurse Nancy,” Father Stanislaw Rog, his Risen Christ faith community, and all who have shared or sent thoughts of love and support to Jim’s family.
Visitation will occur at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 20, at Risen Christ Parish. Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 21, at Risen Christ. Burial with full military honors will take place at Glacier Memorial Cemetery. A luncheon will follow for family and friends at Risen Christ.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Risen Christ Parish, hospice and Wings, or a charity of your choice.