Ned Lavon Jensen written by his daughter
Colaborador: kara.mcmurray Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
It has recently come to my attention that my children know very little about their grandfather, Ned Lavon Jensen. So I am writing some of my memories for them.
He was born in Fairview, Utah Sanpete County. He was the fourth child born to Heber and Florence Jensen and was the baby of the family twice because the baby sister born after him died at one year of age. His mother clung to him as she grieved for little Nellie. He had polio as a boy and due to it he walked on the balls of his feet for a time His mother would tell him “heel down, heel down” as he walked around the home. Thru her love and persistence he was able to walk normally the rest of his life. He had very high arches from the polio and always had to make sure his shoes allowed for them. Other than that he had no other effects, which we were all grateful for. He had a special love for his mom and always had a sweet reaction from her when we visited her. He was able to provide for his family in an honorable and honest profession as a home builder. There are many monuments to his name in Davis and Morgan counties of northern, Utah. He had his own business called “Val Verda Building Co.”. The times were up and down with the business so I remember some lean times but my daddy was always cheerful and kept working hard. One time he was very late coming home so we were all worried. About 7:30 pm he came in the door and we knew immediately that he was in pain. He had been on a site and an earthmover moving the dirt around the house caught daddy between the house and the machine. He had spent most of the afternoon lying on a gurney in the hallway of the hospital waiting for care, with 3 broken ribs and 1 cracked rib. He had to spend some weeks on the couch in the living room and I remember him groaning every time he had to move. It was a hard time for our family. He so healed and went back to work.
He was the only member of his family to obtain a College education and he did it on his own. He also was the strongest in the church and obeyed the word of wisdom fully and all other commandments. He attended the Utah Sate University in Logan, Utah. He would work near his home in Fairview at a logging camp all summer long to pay back the loan from the previous year then go to the bank at the end of the summer to get a loan for the next year. He learned to cut hair and would cut other students hair in order to have spending money for dates and treats. He graduated in Forestry and knew all the names of plants, wildflowers and forest animals in Latin and English. He Enjoyed fishing and camping but mostly fishing. He and mom would sneak away for an early morning of fishing while we were in school if he could work it out. He could tell the weather just by sniffling the air and holding up his finger in the breeze. He Competed with the TV weatherman and was usually more accurate.
He and my mother met at her home in Salt Lake City one night when he came to see her sister Eunice. Eunice worked with Ned’s sister Winona and had been on a few dates with him. They had a date one night and when he came to pick her up my mother Alice met him at the door to say that Eunice was unable to see him that night as she was not feeling well. He asked my mom if she would walk around the block with him to get a magazine for Eunice. There was a market just around the corner. Mom was uneasy, as she was didn't want to tread on her sisters fella. She was shy and overworked being the oldest of eight children. They went on a nice pleasant walk and enjoyed the evening together. He asked her out again which she accepted. She was surprised that he wanted to be with her as she hadn't had many dates. It was a bit uncomfortable as Eunice was the "Belle" of the family and she liked it that way. Alice was afraid Eunice would be upset to be replaced by her. As it would happen Eunice had met her future husband already so it all worked out and they were married in the same year to these men.
Ned joined the Army Reserves during World War II as he did not want to wait to be drafted. He entered Officers Training from the beginning of his Service due to having his college degree where he became a Lieutenant before being sent to the Philippines. They were married on October 22, 1942 and went together to Bend, Oregon to live. Alice became pregnant soon and was very ill and homesick in the small town. Her sister Zitelle passed away in June of 1943 and Alice returned home for the funeral. It was decided that she should stay until the baby came and until Ned came home as he was about to be shipped out. He was able to come for the birth of their first child, David and stay with them for a little while. He then was gone for about four years serving in World Was II. They lived in SLC for a few years in a one bedroom apartment in the back of Alice's parents home in Mendon Court. Both Libby and Todd were born while they lived there. After Libby was born they bought a lot in Bountiful, Utah about 15 miles from where they were living. Ned began construction on the home they lived in for over 60 years. It was the first home he built and He was always dissatisfied with many things about the home and hoped to build a better one after he had learned more about the business and construction. Instead he remodeled and landscaped to make it better. My mom held it together for several years after he passed away.
My father never spoke about the war in my hearing but did stay in the army reserves for the rest of his life. He attended weekly meetings all those years on Monday nights and summer camp for two weeks every summer in either Washington or California. He taught "Military Tactics" at Fort Douglas in Salt Lake City, Utah. When he joined the Army he was in Officers Candidate School and they called them the 90 Day Wonders. He was a 2nd Lieutenant and served in active duty for 51/2 years. During his Active Army Service were to lend Cleanup after the fact with Artillary Support after the Japanese were evicted in the Philippines. He taught Military Tactics in the US Army General Command School.
When he passed away he was a Lieutenant Colonel. But because of the timing of the promotion he was recognized as a Major at the time of his burial. We tried for years to get his promotion recognized but had no luck as he passed away at the wrong time. He had just been awarded the promotion days before his passing. Mom should have been able to have some retirement to live on but we couldn’t get that for her either. She and her son David called Senators and congressmen over many years to try to get that reinstated for her but he passed away too young for her to be able to have it. He was only 52 years old when he passed away just weeks before his 53rd birthday. Way too young. My mother remained alone for the rest of her life missing the only man she could love. They were so in love and she needed him to make her whole so she lived a long lonely and sad life without him at her side. They ran the business together with her doing the bookkeeping and payroll.
My daddy had a great laugh and a wonderful cheerful spirit. His smile was a joy to see, his eyes would crinkle and sparkle. He was very proud of his family and didn’t hesitate to introduce them and have us go with him when he could. He was a great reader and I remember many nights reading in the living room as a family by the fire. We read many of the classics together giving us all the feeling of being loved as we shared the books. I remember especially reading the Count of Monte Cristo, Robin Hood, King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. I read by myself Jane Eyre, Gone with the Wind, and many others. Being the only girl in the family had some drawbacks as always being the minority, but it also had some perks. My dad used to sit in church holding my mom's hand and my hand on his other side, always. He named his fishing bots after me, calling it the " Libby Ann". He gave me my nickname of Libby as he wanted to make sure no one called me Lizzie or Liz. He had known and admired a lady in his home town called Libby so he called me that. I felt loved by him and special.