Richard H. 'Dick' Jensen

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Richard “Dick” H. Jensen, age 87, passed away peacefully on May 15, 2023, surrounded by family at the Good Samaritan Home, Waukon, from complications of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. At his request, there will be no funeral services. A private family burial will be held at a later date. Memorials may be made to the McGregor Historical Society, 256 Main St., McGregor, IA 52157 and to the Harpers Ferry Fire and Rescue Squad, 1050 Great River Road, Harpers Ferry, IA 52146. Martin-Grau Funeral Home in Waukon is handling arrangements.


(Obituary written by Dick)

Richard Harvey Jensen was born Jan. 26, 1936, in West Branch, to Parvin J. and Mabel (Christensen) Jensen. The family moved to Cedar Rapids in 1946. Dick attended Cleveland Grade School and graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1953. He graduated from Iowa State College in civil engineering in 1958. While attending Iowa State, he was a member of the Air Force ROTC Rifle Team and a member of Delta Upsilon Fraternity. 


In March 1958, Dick went to work in the engineering department of the city of Cedar Rapids.  He was appointed city engineer in 1962 at the age of 26, and held the distinction of being the youngest city engineer to ever be appointed in the state of Iowa. In 1966, he was appointed director of public services for the city of Cedar Rapids and held that position until 1976, when he accepted a position as sales engineer for Iowa Concrete Products Company. He was appointed president of that company in 1990, moved to Des Moines and held that position until he retired in 1999. 


In 1969, Dick served as president of the Cedar Rapids Chapter of Iowa Engineering Society. In 1970, he received the Iowa Engineering Society’s John Dunlop-Sherman Woodward Award for the outstanding engineer in Iowa under the age of 35. In 1971, he served as president of the Iowa Chapter of the American Public Works Association. He also served as president of the Eastern Iowa Chapter of Ducks Unlimited in 1974. He was also a member of the Great Northern Corporation, Eagles Club in Prairie du Chien, Wis., Happy Hour Group in McGregor and the McGregor Upper Mississippi Yacht and Boat Club. In the 1970s, Dick purchased two buildings on Main Street in McGregor and restored them, which now are occupied by the chamber of commerce and Pocket City Pub.


Dick married Janice Dahl in 1958, and three children were born to this union: Eric, Christopher and Rebecca. They divorced in 1983. In 1988, he married Mary (Ryan) Stamper. After retiring in 1999, Dick and Mary moved to their new home on the Mississippi River in McGregor, and spent many wonderful years there. They later moved to Harpers Ferry. Dick was an avid hunter and fisherman and enjoyed hunting and fishing in Alaska, Arkansas, North Dakota, Minnesota and Canada, as well as on the Mississippi River. He and Mary also spent several winters in South Padre Island, Texas. 


Dick is survived by his wife, Mary, of 35 years; his children, Eric (Taylor) of San Diego, Calif., Christopher (Sherry) of McGregor and Rebecca (Mike) Owen of Mt. Vernon; and his stepchildren, Chad (Julie) Stamper of Bettendorf and Dawn (Jeremy) Farnan of Chanhassen, Minn. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Drake, Hunter and River Jensen and Mabel and Elsie Owen, and step-grandchildren, Ellie (Conner) Cordts, Jack and Eva Stamper and Ryan and Quinn Farnan. He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister Mary Lou Jensen. 


The family would like to express their appreciation to Dr. David Schwartz, the staff of Good Samaritan Home and the staff of St. Croix Hospice for the loving care they gave to Dick.

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