Jan. 31, 1933 – Oct. 27, 2017
Lon was born in Denison, Iowa, to Rudolph H. Jensen and Caroline Johannsen in the same family farm home where his father was born. He grew up on the family farm and hunted and fished as a child and young man. His sister, Loraine, was 18 years his senior and Darlene (Jenny), was 12 years older. His brother Lester died before Lon was born.
He graduated from the small high school in Denison, then enrolled at Iowa State University. After one semester he transferred to Drake University, where he participated in the ROTC program and was a lineman on the football team. Upon graduation in 1955, he entered the US Air Force, where he served on active duty for 3 plus years as a pilot in SAC. After leaving the Air Force in l958 to attend dental school, he remained in the reserves for a period of 33 years. During this reserve period, he spent the initial 17 years as a pilot and the remaining 12 or 13 years as a dentist. His military involvement was a very important and proud part of his life.
Lon enrolled at the University of Iowa for training in dentistry in 1958. Upon graduation in 1963, he practiced in Anita, Iowa, before moving to Oregon in 1966. At that time he began private practice in Corvallis, Oregon, and continued until 2005. From 2005 —2014 he continued practicing in various locations not too distant from Corvallis. After more than 51 years he completely retired. During these years he was continually amazed at the changes and advances in a profession that suited him well. Dentistry was a great choice for him. After many years he still had a strong attachment to Iowa and particularly his special friend from dental school, with whom he has remained fast friends over these years.
Lon was a man of great energy, many interests and a kind and caring heart. Between 2000 and his retirement he started the first dental clinic on the Carribean Islands of Union and Kanaun. At least 12 trips were made to treat the natives of these islands, who had no access to dental care. As time went on he particularly enjoyed his livestock interests and traveling, both leading him to meet many new people and enjoy new places. He served on the Board of Directors for Santa Gertrudis Breeders International for 4 terms and enjoyed seeing his cattle shown at the Oregon, Colorado, New Mexico, Idaho and Washington State Fairs. Travels also took him to Mexico, Brazil, Canada, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan and Guam, where he made many new friends and came home with many stories.
As Lon grew older he came to enjoy his grandchildren and time with them as something special. Their involvement with animals and sports provided many happy and entertaining hours for us. He always enjoyed their time and attention.
He is survived by wife, Mary; their daughter Robin (Steve) Brattain and grandsons Walter, Dawson and Marshall; as well as their son, Rusty (Barb) Jensen and granddaughter Rio. Also daughter Sue (Don) Buckendorf and grandchildren Aaron (Amanda) Buckendorf, plus their daughter, Jake (Leslie) Buckendorf plus their son and two daughters and Lindsey (Eric) Steinke plus their two sons, all residing in Salem. Son Tom (Maureen) Jensen of Corvallis and Matthew (Shannon) Jensen plus daughter, Molly, of Reno, Nevada.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to: Philomath Booster Club, PO Box 1088, Philomath, Oregon 97370 or Benton Community Foundation, PO Box 911, Corvallis, Oregon 97339 memo Lon & Mary Jensen ROTC Scholarship Fund. At Lon’s request no formal service will be held, but instead a small family gathering will be held in the spring or summer.
Our family would like to extend special thanks to Dr. Eric Sharp and his staff for their help during Lon’s battle during this past year with cancer and the excellent care provided for him by Dr. Lear and the Evergreen Hospice House. We will always be grateful for the support of friends, former patients, his Army buddies and special “coffee” friends.
Please leave condolences for the family at www.mchenryfuneralhome.com