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Sherman Jensen



Sherman C. Jensen, 89, died December 23, 2013 at Prosser Memorial Hospital after a brief illness. He was born August 7, 1924 in The Dalles, Oregon to Christian A. and Emma (Larsen) Jensen of Bickleton, Washington. At the age of three, he moved with his parents and younger sister to the farm that would remain his home for much of his life.

Sherman attended school in Bickleton, graduating from high school there in 1942. He then enrolled at Washington State College in Pullman, Washington, where he was accepted into Acacia Fraternity. His studies were interrupted in 1943, when he was drafted into the United States Army. He served with the 10th Mountain Division in Italy where he was wounded in action in May 1945. Upon his return home, he completed his studies at WSC, receiving a 2 year agriculture certificate in 1948.

On New Year's Eve that year Sherman went on a blind date and met the love of his life, Marilynn Olson, who was a teacher at Denny Blaine Elementary in Sunnyside. They married August 14, 1949 and moved to the family farm.

Sherman enjoyed being a farmer, and was adept at maintaining many of the traditions of the family farm while also utilizing cutting-edge conservation techniques and working with Washington State University scientists in testing new grain varieties. He was able to use these relationships as a basis for creating Jensen Seed Farm, realizing a lifelong dream. He received a Conservation Farmer award from then-governor Arthur Langlie in 1954. He was active in the Washington State Crop Improvement Association, serving as president in 1968-69.

A life-long Freemason, Sherman was Past Master of Grandview Lodge 191. He served as a Scoutmaster with the Boy Scouts of America for many years, was active in the Bickleton Presbyterian Church and served in various roles throughout the community, including some in community theater productions. Sherman was a dedicated supporter of the public school system, both locally through the Bickleton School Benefit Association and in a wider capacity, serving on the board of Educational Service District 105 in Yakima for over 30 years. He was always interested in the history of the area and remained an active member of the Alder Creek Pioneer Association and the Eastern Klickitat County Historical Society.

Sherman made friends wherever he went, and kept them throughout his long life. He was preceded in death by his parents and twin brothers, Richard and Ronald Jensen, and by his wife of over 60 years, Marilynn (Olson) Jensen. He is survived by his sister, Marian (Don) Toste of Livermore, California, his children Pete (Jacqui) Jensen of Bickleton, Kristi (Brian) Tuor of Mabton, Lise (Norman) Ott of Odessa, Washington, and Jeanna Jensen of Bickleton, as well as by several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Memorial service will be held on Saturday, January 4, 2014 at 10:30 a.m. at the Bickelton Presbyterian Church. Those wishing to honor Sherman's memory may contribute to the Bickleton Presbyterian Church or to the Alder Creek Pioneer Association, or to the charity of your choice.

If you would like to sign Sherman's online memorial book you may do so at Smith Funeral Home Ltd. and Crematory Sunnyside in charge of arrangements.


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