Leo, a longtime resident of Everett, Washington, who also lived in Marysville, Washington, passed away peacefully on December 16, 2020 in Sun City West, Arizona from Covid-19 complications. He was born July 23, 1920 in Mobridge, South Dakota.
His loving wife of 76 years, Eleanore Mae (Rude) Jensen, preceded him in death in 2017. He and Eleanore were inseparable and traveled to many places over the years with family and friends.
Leo fulfilled his dream of visiting Norway in his 90s with three generations of his family. He was a beloved and caring husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather who touched the lives of many people with his charisma and charm.
He loved the outdoors, especially hunting game birds and fishing for trout and salmon, boating in Puget Sound on the Eleanore M, and golfing. When music played, he could not keep still and could always keep step with any woman who had the pleasure to dance with him. Leo was an avid football fan, especially for the Seattle Seahawks.
He and several associates owned a large farm near Othello for a time where he enjoyed his western side that fit into his later lifestyle in Arizona.
He was the oldest living retiree from the Everett Fire Department that he joined in 1950 and retired in 1974 as Deputy Chief. He was Past President of Everett Firefighters Local #350. He also taught for the State Vocational Education Program and served as Past President of the Washington State Fire Training Officers Association. He served as an instructor for the Fire Command School for Washington State and was an Analysis Specialist for National Fire Systems. He developed a 30-credit hour course for Everett Community College to grant an Associate Degree in Fire Engineering. He was also a founding member of the consulting firm, Fire Protection Technology, Inc. that provided training programs nationwide and served as Vice President for American Fire Technology Associates. He was a long-time member of American Legion Post #0006 and the Marysville Moose Lodge #1845.
He was a proud U.S. Merchant Marine veteran from World War II and reached the rank of Third Officer on deck. He was famously known and always recognized for proudly wearing his officer’s cap at his assisted living facility.
He was a master cabinet maker and he and several firemen built the family home in south Everett. He had unusual pioneering vision and determination shown by he and another fireman who designed and built two truck bed campers before they even became popular. He loved wood carving and made both small and large totem poles that were designed and painted based on authentic northwest Native American totem poles for his family. He was truly talented. He surprised many as an avid golfer into his 90s and regular visits to the gym with his personal trainer.
He was a special hero and legend to many who knew him. He had a passion for reading Louie L’Amour western novels and played superhero characters with his great-grandchildren who adored their “grandpa”. He has challenged his family to aspire to his longevity and appreciation and fullness of life. His family will always remember their mighty centenarian with his warm, happy and contagious smile that never faulted.
He leaves behind a living family legacy that he always valued so dearly as with each ending there is a new beginning. He is survived by his two children, Gary Jensen and his wife Melvy of Springfield, Virginia and Sandra Jensen Potts and her husband Kent of Sun City West, Arizona. He leaves behind four grandchildren, Kristina, Leana, Justin and Lindsay and six great-grandchildren, Lukas, Saira, Nash, Caleb, Reina, and Kairyn.