|Published in the Enterprise November 17, 2017|
Howard J. Jensen died peacefully and surrounded by family on Sunday morning, November 12, at Mercy Hospital in Springfield, Missouri. He was born October 4, 1924, to the late Oscar Hugo Howard and Anna Marie (Stroh) Jensen in Washington County, Nebraska. He grew up on the family farm and attended the local one-room school, the March School, and thereafter Blair High School and Dana College in Blair.
Howard enlisted in the United States Army in 1942 on his 18th birthday and served in the 1262d Engineer Combat Battalion until 1946. He was in Germany when the war ended. Because there were not enough ships to bring all the soldiers home at once, the Army organized football leagues to keep the soldiers occupied. Howard's team had a reunion in 1996.
Howard returned to Nebraska after the war. He graduated from the University of Nebraska with a degree in chemical engineering. He was a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity. He later earned an M. B. A. from the Breech School of Business at Drury College.
Howard's first engineering job was with the Goodyear Corporation in Lincoln, Nebraska. In 1958 he joined the Dayton Rubber Company (Dayco) and moved to Springfield with his wife and daughter when the company's Springfield plant opened. Dayco elected Howard to its Inventors Club based upon patents he and others were awarded for the company. Howard retired from Dayco in 1987. In addition to his career at Dayco, Howard taught classes at Southwest Missouri State University for fifteen years after receiving his M. B. A. degree. He was an avid golfer and played with friends from Dayco for almost fifty years. His other great interests were Nebraska Cornhusker football and reading about military history and science.
Howard and Barbara Jean Dillman were married March 10th, 1956, at First Plymouth Congregational Church in Lincoln. He is survived by his wife, daughter Mary Jensen of Alexandria, Virginia, daughter Amy Jensen Norwood (Matthew) of Lakewood, Colorado, grandchildren Isabel, Charles and Frederick Norwood, brother Jack Jensen (Opal), sister Edith Rosenbaum (Neil), and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by daughter Carolyn (1958-1985), sisters Dorothy Bearden and Laura Hiltabidel and a brother, Billy, who died in infancy.
Graveside inurnment and services will be held in the Lincoln Lutheran Cemetery in Orum, Nebraska, at a date to be decided. Memorial donations may be made to Care to Learn, 411 North Sherman Parkway, Springfield, Missouri, 65802, an organization that supports underprivileged students, or the Emanuel Lutheran Church in Orum. Online condolences may be made at www.gormanscharpf.com.
Obituary courtesy of the Washington County Genealogical Society. Newspaper clipping on file in the Blair Public Library at Blair, Nebraska.