Penn Yan — Lester H. Jensen, 97, passed away peacefully at home Thursday, December 26, 2019. A Celebration of Life will be held at the Penn Yan Methodist Church at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020, immediately followed by a military honors burial at Lakeview Cemetery.
Lester was born in Benton May 15th, 1922 to Harold and Valborg (Sorenson) Jensen. With the exception of a three-year term in the United States Army during WWII, he lived almost his entire life on Pre-Emption Road. He attended school in Penn Yan and in 1942 enlisted in the Army and served as a Technical Sergeant for Company C 327th Glider, 101st Airborne (Screaming Eagles) Division. He was honorably discharged in 1945 after earning a Bronze Star Medal, Distinguished Unit Badge, EAME Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, and WWII Victory Medal while serving in battle in Ardennes, Central Europe, Rhineland, and Normandy (D-Day+1). He returned home to Penn Yan to raise five children with his wife, Jean (Kirkpatrick) and resume working for Ira Wyman Inc. for over 50 years as a fuel delivery driver. After Jean passed away in 1998, he found companionship with Norma Johnson, who he enjoyed travelling to Old Forge with and having weekly dinner with friends.
Lester credited his long life to living simply and following a strict routine. He always drove the speed limit (or under) and preferred using the Yates County back roads to get anywhere. “Pops” loved his many grandchildren and animals (particularly Beauty, Peggy, Buffy and Buddy) and had special nicknames for them all. He faithfully attended all his grandchildren’s sporting events and on a crazy Saturday night could be found playing games of Uno, Old Maid, Yahtzee or Chinese Checkers at the kitchen table. He enjoyed his morning coffee with friends at the Dairyman’s Diner in Dresden and was particularly fond of their resident dog, Jack. He was famous for his one-liners and had a dry sense of humor. Family and friends knew that if they asked him how he was doing, the answer would always be a deadpan “Terrible” followed by a chuckle and a smile. He was a man of few words, but when he did speak, it was always softly and with sharp observation. Pops was the centerpiece of his ever-growing family and will be dearly missed by all who loved him.
Lester was pre-deceased by his wife of 56 years, Jean (Kirkpatrick) Jensen, his sons, Charles and Randy, his son-in-law Glea Perry, and granddaughter, Colleen Perry, as well as his parents, Harold and Valborg (Sorenson) Jensen, his sister, Lilly, and her husband, Stewart Creveling.
He is survived by his sweetie, Norma Johnson, his children, Roger (Becky), Bonnie (Perry) and Timothy, daughter-in-law Deb, his grandchildren, Stacy (Eric) Fisher, Scott Jensen, Ashley Jensen, Christine (Ken) Pullin, Kelly (William) Von Glahn, Matthew (Jennifer) Perry, Mark (Aimee) Perry, Brandon (Joy) Jensen, Jori (Eric) Cincotta, Chrissy Jensen, Sara (Adam) Christensen, Andrew Jensen, Thomas Jensen, Nicholas Jensen, and Morgan Jensen as well as 26 great-grandchildren, nephew, Steve (Marilyn) Creveling, niece, Valerie (Tom) Trimm and their families.
Lester was very moved by the Honor Flight he took to the Washington, D.C. Veterans Memorial with his grandson, Brandon in April 2014 and felt that all veterans should have the opportunity to have the same experience. Memorial donations can be made in his name to Honor Flight Rochester, Inc., at PO Box 2358, Rochester, N.Y. 14692 or online at https://honorflightrochester.org/donations/