|Birth: ||Oct. 1, 1926|
|Death: ||Mar. 13, 2009|
Arthur (Art) Christen Jensen, 82, of Cheyenne passed away March 13 in the emergency room at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
Art was born Oct. 1, 1926, in Parker, Idaho, to George Aldo and Ada (Harmon) Jensen. He lived his early years in Idaho then moved to Hawthorne, Nev., where his father was elected sheriff of Mineral County.
Art quit high school to join the Navy during World War II and was a plank owner of the aircraft carrier USS Petrof Bay. He earned stars in eight Pacific Island invasions including Iwo Jima and the Philippines. On one return trip to San Francisco, they had to circle Alcatraz Prison Island, during the famous prison escape.
After an honorable discharge in May 1946, he caught a ride with a friend from Hawthorne to Newcastle. There he met and married Anna Kraft, and started his lifetime career of chasing black gold throughout the western states and the North Slope in Alaska. He lived in 22 Wyoming towns, and in one year moved to 10 different towns. He worked his way up through every position on a drilling rig until he was the drilling superintendent over eight rigs. He retired in Cheyenne, and then worked security for Frontier Days, Central High School and Laramie Community College.
He was a lifetime member of American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and USS Petrof Bay Association.
Art is survived by a daughter, Lucy Simpson and son-in-law, Al, of Cheyenne; and by a granddaughter, Angela Ekker, from Denver; and nephews and nieces.
Preceding him in death were his wife, Anna; his parents; brothers, George, Wes and Boyd; and sisters, Lovina and Almina.
Funeral was 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Veterans Affairs Hospital Chapel with Chaplain Carol Carr officiating. Interment will be in Cheyenne Memorial Gardens.
In Wyoming Tribune, Cheyenne, Wyoming and
in Casper-Star Tribune, Casper, Wyoming this article was printed with pictures.
"LONGTIME OILMAN, 82, DIES
By Jared Miller Monday, March 23, 2009
For most of his life, Art Jensen was a man on the move.
A career oil field man, Jensen hung his hat in nearly 100 towns across the West, including at least 22 in Wyoming.
"Papa loved moving from town to town," said granddaughter Angela Ekker of Denver, "He liked the adventure of going to a new place."
Jensen, of Cheyenne, died suddenly on March 13. He was 82.
Jensen first satisfied his itch to move when, at age 17, he dropped out of school and joined the Navy during World War II.
He served as a radar operator aboard an aircraft carrier, and took part in eight Pacific island invasions. He also had his share of fun as a young sailor.
"Art was conscientious and worked hard on board ship, and on shore, as a young sailor, he did his best to hold up to the drunken-sailor reputation," wrote his daughter, Lucy Simpson of Cheyenne, in her father's eulogy.
After leaving the military in May 1964, Jensen caught a ride with a friend to Newcastle, where he met and married Anna Kraft, and began a career in the oil fields of Wyoming and the West.
Jensen started as a roughneck and worked his way up through the ranks to driller, tool pusher and eventually drilling superintendent.
Jensen worked for a half-dozen Casper-area drilling companies that sent him to locations in nine states, including Alaska in winter.
Each time the company called, Jensen would pack up his small family and hit the road, usually returning to Casper.
"I moved in and out of Casper so much that they didn't even take me off the rolls in the schools," Simpson said.
In the early years, the family rented homes in towns near the rigs, but Anna Jensen eventually tired of the cleaning and painting required to bring the small rental homes up to her high standards for housekeeping.
So they bought a mobile home, and when the call from Casper came to move, they packed up the house and the rig and hit the road.
"My mom would get the trailer ready, and my dad would get the rig ready, and away we'd go," Simpson said. "Sometimes I'd come home from school and find out we were moving, and I just wouldn't go to school the next day."
Jensen had a reputation for maintaining clean rigs and had an impeccable safety record, Simpson said.
That was partly because of his intolerance for alcohol on the rig site, she added. "Oh, my goodness," Simpson said. "If you showed up with a hangover or whatever, he wouldn't even take you out there. He'd just have someone else work a double shift, because it's too dangerous, too scary."
Jensen was well-respected by his workers and the other families that moved with them along with the rig.
Simpson said she briefly dated one of her father's rig hands, who said all the men were enthusiastic about their boss. "Everybody really did have respect for him, because he was such a hard worker," Simpson said.
Ozie Blanton of Casper, a longtime friend of Jensen's who spent about 15 years working alongside him in the oil fields, said Jensen's work ethic was fueled in part by a competitive streak.
"He always liked to try to out-driller the other drillers," Blanton said. "He liked to see who could make the most hole."
In addition to his passion for work, Jensen was a family man.
He believed it was unacceptable to use "oil-rig language" in the presence of women, and he found time for his daughter.
When Jensen discovered that his daughter, after a move from Utah to Nevada, was behind other students in math, he crafted flashcards to teach her long division.
"Every night he helped me with my math so I could catch up, and I did," Simpson recalled.
After decades on the road, Jensen settled in Cheyenne, where he volunteered to work security for the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo. He liked the work so well that he took a security job at Laramie County Community College.
Jensen continued to travel the United States and later enjoyed learning about new lands by virtual exploration on the Internet, a pastime he enjoyed until his death.
Jensen also remained deeply patriotic throughout his life. He flew a flag every day, never purchased a foreign-made automobile and spoke often about his military service, where he developed his taste for traveling.
Aldo George Jensen (1895 - 1957)
Ada Millie Harmon Jensen (1895 - 1974)
Anna Kraft Jensen (1922 - 1998)
Dorothy Lovina Jensen Berrum (1916 - 1986)*
George Martin Jensen (1919 - 1961)*
Wesley Aldo Jensen (1920 - 1961)*
Ada Almina Jensen Phillips (1923 - 1992)*
Arthur Christen Jensen (1926 - 2009)
Boyd Harmon Jensen (1934 - 2004)*
Cheyenne Memorial Gardens
Plot: Good Shepherd, Grave 3,Block B, Lot 75
Created by: Lucy
Record added: Mar 24, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 35099790