Ronald “Ron” Jensen, age 71, of Huron, died January 31, 2013, at the Ambassador Subacute & Rehabilitation Center in Lincoln, Nebraska. His funeral service was at 10:00 AM Saturday, February 16th, at the Huron Baptist Church with Rev. Chet Coolbaugh officiating. Burial will be in the Black Hills National Cemetery at Sturgis.
Ronald Milton Jensen was born July 9, 1941, in Huron, South Dakota, the third child of Ralph Hans and Mildred Mercedes (Munion) Jensen. He lived and went to school in Huron before enlisting in the Air Force October 15, 1958. He was stationed in Tacoma, Washington and was honorably discharged August 17, 1962. He received the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award and the Good Conduct Medal for his achievements.
He married Marilyn Jean Schley September 20, 1959, at McChord Air Force Base, Tacoma, Washington. He then married Bonita (Bonnie) Rae Stratton November 10, 1976, at Worland, Wyoming.
Ron loved to drive truck and he drove for various trucking companies. On July 20, 1977, going down the west side of Togwotee Pass, just west of Dubois, Wyoming, the brakes went out on his trailer hauling hot tar. Ron's back was broken and he was burned, but he survived and walked out of the hospital. He became a partner for a rodeo stock contractor and helped haul the stock. Then another accident broke his neck on July 28, 2012, and Ron, always a fighter, decided to beat this obstacle too, until cancer was found and took his life.
Ron loved trucking, horses, genealogy, storytelling, leather and bead work, and spending time with his friends and family. He was a member of The Western Way Cowboy Church since it began in 2005, offering the building on his property to the church to provide a warm spot to hold services. He also belonged to the American Legion Post 138 of De Smet for many years.
He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Jerry Jensen.
He leaves behind his wife Bonnie of Huron; his children, Bret (Kim) Jensen of De Smet, and Tracey Santos of Pensacola, Florida; step-children, Connie Rodriguez of Lovell, Wyoming and Mark Stratton of Las Vegas, Nevada; brothers, Richard Jensen of Roseburg, Oregon and Kenny Jensen of Huron; sister, Alice Waldner of Huron; eleven grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; numerous nieces, nephews and friends; and his pal, Sparky.