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William Michael Jensen

February 1, 1946-April 11, l998

Mike Jensen was born at Wichita, Kansas on February 1, 1946 to Horace (Mickey) and Marjorie Jensen. Mike spent his youth in Wichita and graduated high school in 1964. He continued his education at Wichita State University and earned his BA in Anthropology in 1969. Mike always had many interests but from his youth flying and aviation were his passion.

After graduation Mike moved to Colorado Springs to work as a tow pilot for Black Forest Glider Port. He eventually formed a business working with aircraft maintenance, Jensen Aircraft. He achieved a three diamond badge, the highest achievement recognition by the Soaring Society of America. Mike married Ellin Johnson in 1971 and their union gave the world two daughters, Alice and Christina. He and Ellin were divorced.

Mike moved to Dillingham, Alaska where he was a partner and vice-president of Ute Air Alaska. While with Ute, he also worked as a bush pilot for four years. In 1992 he moved to Rangely, Colorado to teach aviation at Colorado Northwestern Community College. Mike was interested and involved in all aspects of college activities. In Rangely he was able to combine his love of flying with a very special talent for teachting. His enthusiasm has encouraged many people to pursue careersin aviation.

Mike and Mary Lou McKinnon both taught at CNCC and their mutual interests led to love and marriage. Both had a love for the outdoors and skiing, rafting, golfing, and flying were a large part of their lives. His daughter Christina came to live with them in 1996. In December of 1997, Mike became a grandfather with the birth of Savannah Tighe to his oldest daughter, Alice.

On October 26, 1997 Mike was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. To Mike, his only option was survival. His health rapidly declined but Mike's attitude was always bright. He fought the tumor for five and a half months but lost the battle. On April 11, 1998 mike passed away at St. Mary's Hospital in Grand Junction, Colorado. Mike is survived by his wife, his daughters, a granddaughter, his parents and a brother and sister.

– Mary Lou McKinnon

Posted: 6/1/1998


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