Brookings: Sept. 25, 1943 - Feb. 10. 2024

Richard Jensen


Richard Arnold Jensen was born Sept. 25, 1943, in Mitchell, SD to Henry and Ellen (Kundert) Jensen. In his early life, Rich and his “sidekick” Dorothy moved to various bridge construction sites with their parents. In 1949, when Rich entered school, his family settled down in Forestburg, SD, where he and his younger sister Dorothy grew up surrounded by their maternal grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Rich graduated from Forestburg High School in 1961, after that he attended Augustana College, graduating with a BS in Mathematics in 1965. Rich continued his education at the University of North Dakota receiving his MS in Mathematics in 1967.

After graduating from UND he taught math for two years at Minot State College in Minot, ND. Rich was drafted into the Army in 1969 and went through basic training at Ft. Leonard Wood, MO. After completing basic training, he received orders to Headquarters Company U.S. Army, Washington, DC, and lived on Ft. Myer Army Base, VA. Rich met his wife while working part-time at the Ft. Myer movie theater. After Rich was discharged in August, 1971, he went back to teach one more year at Minot State College.

Richard and Dawn (Miller) were married March 4, 1972. They have three sons and three daughters, Meredith (Aaron) Spade, Richard, Jr (Angela), Andrew, Katherine (Trenton) Hof, Bryan, and Megan. Grandchildren, Austin (Polet) Spade, Hope Spade, Ethan, Xander, and Carter Hof.

In 1972, Richard and Dawn moved to Pierre, SD. Rich started working for the State of South Dakota as a Program Planner for the Older Americans Program for two years. After the state recognized the Department of Social Services he worked in a number of positions until his retirement in 2012.

Rich and Dawn moved to Brookings, SD, in 2014 to be close to family.

Rich was first diagnosed with cancer in November, 2009. Since that time, he has courageously endured many chemotherapy treatments, biopsies, procedures and surgery. Rich “fell asleep in death” early the morning of Feb. 10, surrounded by his wife and all of his children and grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held at 12 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 19, at Rude’s Funeral Home in Brookings, SD. Visitation will be held one hour prior from 11 a.m. to 12 pm on Monday, Feb. 19, at Rude’s Funeral Home in Brookings. Rude’s Funeral Home will live-stream the funeral service at website, you may click on the link above Rich’s obituary. He wishes in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the American Cancer Society or Hospice program near you.

Rich was preceded in death by all of his grandparents, both parents, an infant sister, all of his aunts and uncles and many cousins. Also, his brothers-in-law Larry Sweeter, Henry and his wife Sherry Miller, sister-in-law Patricia (Miller) and her husband Herbert Stuck.

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