Leslie LaVerne Jensen, 85, of Alpena, passed away Friday, March 17, 2023, at the Huron Regional Medical Center.

His funeral service will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, March 25, at the First Presbyterian Church, Huron. His service will be live-streamed through the Kuhler Funeral Home website. Burial will be in the Rest Haven Cemetery, Alpena, with military honors. Visitation will be from 1-7 p.m, Friday at the Kuhler Funeral Home, with his family present from 5-7 p.m. Friday evening. A prayer service will be held at 6:30 p.m.

Leslie LaVerne Jensen was born Sept. 24, 1937, to Clifford and Nellie (Heggen) Jensen at Mitchell. Leslie grew up in the Alpena area and attended all 12 grades at Alpena. While in high school, he participated in basketball, track, yearbook and class officer. In track, he pole-vaulted at the State Track Meet for several years, including the year he had to hitch hike to the meet.

Les continued his education at Blair, Neb., where he played basketball for a short time.

He was a proud Marine, as he served his country from July 31, 1956 to July 30, 1958, at Camp Pendleton, Calif. One job there was to drive people around, which included Matt Dillon and Miss Kitty from Gunsmoke.

On Jan. 27, 1963, Les married Mary Louise Elliott at Woonsocket. They made their home at Alpena, where they raised their family for 60 years.

Leslie played with the Alpena Amateur Baseball team and later managed the team. He also played with the Alpena Independent Basketball team, played slow-pitch and bowled.

Professionally, Les was a truck driver, livestock producer, corn sheller in all weather conditions, bonded cattle order buyer sitting for hours at sales, and partner in owning Jensen Grain.

Les and Mary Louise enjoyed traveling 35 states, following their grandchildren’s activities, watching basketball, and watching the birds and squirrels out the window. He had an extensive collection of red birds, moose and hats. Les was famous for his statement “sleep on it.”

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Mary Louise; two daughters, VaLynda (Todd) Weller of Aberdeen and Brenda (Alan) Schmidt of Huron; one son, Leo (Annette Bowen) Jensen of Alpena; three grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; two bonus children, Kyle Uttecht and Kelly Uttecht; and many nieces and nephews, including greats, great-greats and great-great-greats.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Clifford and Nellie Jensen; siblings and their spouses, John and Barbara Jensen, Lloyd Jensen, Marian and Martin Andersen Jr., Ardis and Les Grace, Nellie Jensen at birth, Willis Jensen, Betty Jensen, Bobby Jensen; his parents-in-law, Orval and Sarah Elliott; and brother-in-law, Charles Elliott.

Memorials may be directed to the United Parish of Alpena.

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