William (Bill) Jensen, 81

Bill Jensen was born on March 2, 1937, to Raymond and Nellie (Baird) Jensen. The youngest of five children, Bill first attended District 19 country school, followed by grade school in Dunning. He spent his freshman year at Broken Bow but returned to Dunning where he graduated in 1955.

Bill joined the US Marines in 1957 and was based at Camp Pendleton in California. Following an honorable discharge, Bill did day work for his dad, McAdams ranch and Wiebush ranch and also worked for Blaine County and Rodocker Construction. In 1960, Bill married Donna (Ridenour) Jensen and to this union two boys were born, William Raymond and Bernard Lee. Bill and Donna celebrated their 58th wedding anniversary on June 5, 2018.

Bill was known for his good humor and generosity and enjoyed helping his neighbors and friends. Most often, if you saw Bill, he was on a horse. His love of horses got him into trouble a few times and he joked that being bucked off more than once caused him to use up at least seven of his nine lives. Bill truly loved helping with the 4-H horse club and was so proud to see the 4-H kids take home trophies as a result of their hard work.

After the untimely death of his father in 1962, Bill leased the family ranch. He and Donna later purchased the ranch in 2001 which fulfilled a lifelong dream.

In 1971 Bill and his family moved from the homestead to Platte Valley Cattle Company where Bill worked as assistant ranch manager. During their 17 years at Platte Valley, Bill and Donna welcomed Kurt Bell, Paul Kulp, and Eldon and Shaun Schipporeit into their home as the boys attended Sandhills High School with Billy Ray and Bernie. It was a lively and rowdy house, full of fun and wonderful times. Bill was also well-known for his barbering skills, and it was very common to have people stop by the house for a haircut, supper and good company.

In addition to his love of horses, Bill greatly enjoyed the sport of coyote hunting and his greyhounds, including his beloved dog Jake. He spent many hours working on his dog wagon and loved the thrill of the hunt. Bill was proud to be one of the Blaine County coyote hunters featured in The Coyote Hunt, a song written and performed by Mike Baxter.

Bill was a member of the American Legion and Elks in Broken Bow.

Bill has four grandchildren, three boys and one girl, and seven great-grandchildren, five boys and two girls, so Bill’s legacy and the Jensen name will continue for some time.

Bill leaves to mourn his passing his wife, Donna; sons, William (Lauri), and Bernard (Susan); grandchildren, Tori, Cash (Melody), Caleb (Alaina) and Jacob; and great-grand children, Joshua, Ava, Holt, Carter, Waylon, Haizlee and Jaton. Also cherishing their memories of Bill are many friends and neighbors.

Bill is preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Wallace (Lois) and Lyndell (MaryElla); and sisters, Carol (Ronald) Bain and Mildred (Ron) Beavers.

A true Sandhills cowboy, Bill left this world on July 30, 2018 in the same house in which he was born 81 years ago.

Funeral services were held Monday, August 6, 2018 at the United Church of Christ in Purdum, NE, with Pastor Diana Jahn officiating. Burial followed at the Purdum Cemetery with Military Honors. Memorials are suggested to the American Cancer Society or the United Church of Christ. Govier Brothers were in charge of arrangements. Online condolences can be left at www.govierbrothers.com.

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