John A. Jensen
Memorial Services will be held at the New Life Church in Choteau, MT on Saturday, March 12, 2016 at 2PM for John A. Jensen, age 65 who passed away peacefully from natural causes at his home in Choteau on February 29, 2016. Rev. Mike Manuel and Rev. Sami Pack will be officiating. Cremation has taken place under the direction of Gorder-Jensen Funeral Home of Choteau and O'Connor Funeral Home of Great Falls.
John was born January 20, 1951 in Dubuque, Iowa, the son of Harold K. "Bud" and Carolyn (Comstock) Jensen. He and his family lived in Iowa and California until 1955 when he moved to Rockwell City, Iowa with his family. He attended the Rockwell City elementary school through the second grade. His father purchased a grocery store in Newell, Iowa and the family moved there in 1958. John attended school there, graduating from the Newell Providence High School in May of 1969. He attended college at Iowa Central Community College in Ft. Dodge, Iowa; Northwest Missouri State College in Marysville, MO and North Arkansas Community College in Rogers, Arkansas and then attended and graduated from the Dallas Institute of Funeral Service in 1981.
During his high school years he worked for his father in the grocery store as stock boy and meat cutter. He also worked for the Baak Funeral Home as an assistant funeral director and ambulance attendant.
After high school John attended college and worked as an ambulance attendant for several years before meeting Ruth K. Decker of Spencer, Iowa. They were married on June 4, 1972 in Arnold's Park, Iowa and moved to Bentonville, Arkansas where he was employed by the Benton County Road Department as a heavy equipment operator. In 1973, he moved back to Iowa and was employed by the Dickinson County Memorial Hospital in Spirit Lake, Iowa as an Emergency Medical Technician and then went to work from 1973 to 1975 as a police officer for the town of Arnold's Park, Iowa and Milford, Iowa, where he was Deputy Chief.
In 1975, John was hired to set up an emergency medical service for the Sac County (Iowa) area. He was responsible for obtaining equipment and training of the staff to cover emergency medical services for a 5-town area. In addition to this position, he was employed by the Iowa Central Community College to provide "adult education" training to the citizens of this county for emergency medical services. John trained approximately 700 citizens, fire department and ambulance service personnel such courses as Emergency Medical Technician; Emergency Rescue Technician; CPR and Advanced Life Support. John was the fifth Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (Paramedic) certified in the State of Iowa. In addition to his employment, John was an active member of the Iowa state EMS associations, serving on several Governors' Task Forces for the advancement of Emergency Medical Services.
In 1981, John returned to school, attending the Dallas Institute of Funeral Service in Dallas, Texas where he got his Embalmers and Funeral Director's degree. He then moved to Rogers, Arkansas where he was employed as a Funeral Director for Callison-Lough Funeral Service and then as a manager for the Burns Funeral Home, both in Rogers, Arkansas. In 1989, John fulfilled his dream of moving West to Wyoming and was employed by the Memorial Chapel Funeral Home in Casper, Wyoming and also, as one of three corneal excision technicians in Wyoming for the Rocky Mountain Eye Bank of Denver, Colorado.
In 1996, John, and his family, moved to the small town of Choteau, Montana where he has been the manager and funeral director at Gorder Funeral Home. He enjoyed living in "small-town USA". In July, 2010 he and his wife fulfilled his dream and purchased the funeral home renaming it to Gorder-Jensen Funeral Home.
John enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping and traveling throughout the mountains of Montana and Wyoming. He also enjoyed reading and "being on-line". He enjoyed doing things with his family and the summer visits from the grandchildren as well as traveling to Iowa and Arkansas for family visits there.
John was a member of the Choteau Lions and Kiwanis Club, a past member of the Casper Masonic Lodge; the Pi Sigma Eta National Funeral Directors Honor Society, and was a past scout master for the Boy Scouts of America in Rogers, Arkansas and District Boy Scout Officer in Casper, Wyoming.
John is survived by his wife, Ruth of the home; two daughters: Nicole (Jensen) Coleman of Casper, Wyoming; Jessica Jensen of Fairfield, Montana; a sister: Kim Hurtt of Hiwasse, Arkansas; three brothers: Keith Jensen; Michael Jensen and Martin Jensen, all of Bentonville, Arkansas; his mother: Carol Jensen, of Bentonville, Arkansas; 5 grandchildren: Payden and Leighum Coleman, both of Casper, Wyoming and Stephen "Michael", Seth and Iceis Johnson of Fairfield, Montana and a Great-Granddaughter Addison Simpson; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
John was preceded in death by his son: Jason Allen Jensen in 2002 and his father: Harold "Bud" Jensen in 2003.
Memorials are suggested to the Teton County Ambulance Service or the Peace Hospice of Teton County.
Condolences may be left on line at www.gorderjensenfuneral home.com