Gary Alvin Jensen, beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother and friend, passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family on Sunday, November 8, 2015, in Provo Utah. He was born August 20, 1941 in Los Angeles, California to Garth P. and Mary Lillian Schian Jensen. He was the eldest of five children.
Gary married his high school sweetheart, Linda Lee West, in the Los Angeles LDS Temple on December 2, 1960. They had four beautiful children and lived in Simi Valley, California. His young wife was taken at the age of 35 due to cancer. After a chance meeting with a lovely lady who was visiting his ward in Simi Valley, Gary found love again. He and this wonderful woman, Sandra Jean Scott, from American Fork, Utah were married. Sandra’s daughter, Jennifer, became part of the family affectionately known as “Gary’s Gang.” Gary and Sandra were sealed in the Mount Timpanogos LDS Temple.
Gary began his distinguished computer career as a Tabulating Equipment Operator for the City of Los Angeles. From there, he worked in the computer department at Rocketdyne. He then organized new facilities and designed a new security computer building for Jet Propulsion Laboratories in Pasadena, California. This center was specifically built to control the spacecraft and process imaging gathered from the Voyager expedition to Jupiter and Saturn. From there he moved to Boulder, Colorado to accept a job as Operations Manager at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. He also managed supercomputing operations at Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburg and University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois.
As President of the Cray Users Group, Gary traveled throughout the world, and enjoyed taking along his sweet wife Sandra and his precious mother-in-law Jean Peters on many of his trips. More recently, Gary worked with the SGI SuperComputing group, organizing and implementing conferences.
Gary was a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints where he served for several years as Ward Financial Clerk. Throughout his life he served the youth, and he especially enjoyed working with the Webelos Cub Scouts. He and Sandra oversaw the Activities Committee which facilitated some unforgettable activities including a notable ward Pioneer Trek.
Gary related easily to everyone whether they were adorned in a business suit or a sweatshirt. He was genuinely interested in others, and made friends throughout the world. His close associations were important to him, and he did his best to keep in touch with his friends, family and colleagues. He was a loving father, as well as grandfather and great-grandfather, attending their graduations, performances and special events. He was known for his humor and his gift of (occasionally exaggerated) story-telling. He loved the outdoors and was always available to take a long drive.
Gary is survived by his wife, Sandra Jean Scott Jensen of American Fork, Utah; children: Elizabeth (David) Nelson of Longmont, Colorado; Melanie (Scott) Johnson of Lilburn, Georgia; Stacey (Tom) Genta of Eagle, Idaho; Paul (Alison) Jensen of Singapore; Jennifer (Johnny) Evans of Saratoga Springs, Utah; sisters Darla Pearce, Sandi Griffiths, and Treena Vizzard; and brother Garth E. Jensen; 21 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. Gary is predeceased by wife, Linda Lee West Jensen; and grandson, Eric David Nelson.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, November 14 at 11:00 am at the LDS church located at 680 North 350 West American Fork, Utah. Friends may visit Friday evening from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm at Anderson and Son’s Mortuary, 49 East 100 North in American Fork and 9:45 am – 10:45 am prior to services. Internment in the American Fork Cemetery.
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American Fork Chapel
49 East 100 North
American Fork, UT 84003
Lone Peak Chapel
6141 West 11000 North
Highland, UT 84003