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Colonel James Paul Jensen, DVM
James Paul Jensen, 90, resident of Thayne, Wyoming, passed away peacefully at home along the Salt River, on the afternoon of Saturday, September 23, 2023.
Paul was born in Alamosa, Colorado, to Sara Jackson and James Stevens Jensen on January 4, 1933. He was joined by his younger brother, Sam, three years later. His childhood years were spent in the San Luis Valley, in the towns of Sanford and Manassa, Colorado. At about the age of 8 years, Paul, Sam, and their mother moved to Denver, Colorado, where the boys thrived in school and sports, and also assisted with the family finances by taking on paper routes for the Denver Post. Paul then attended Colorado A & M University (now Colorado State University), where he was on the golf and gymnastics teams. His educational pursuits led to a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. In addition, he later received a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Michigan.
During his college years, Paul met his eternal companion, Carlie Young Cromar, at a church dance, eventually being married in the Salt Lake Temple on July 1, 1955. A year of private veterinary practice in Lander, Wyoming, was followed by a 30-year career in the U.S. Air Force, during which he rose to the rank of colonel. During his Air Force career, the family lived in Montana, Nebraska, England, Michigan, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, Texas, Japan, Alabama, Germany, Colorado, and California. After retiring from the Air Force and moving to Salt Lake City, Paul worked for Hills Science Diet pet food company, followed by a third career working for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as Director of Military Relations. After finally retiring from the Church, Paul and Carlie moved to beautiful Thayne, Wyoming.
Paul and Carlie raised six daughters and four sons. Family unity and family activities were of utmost importance to Paul and Carlie. Although the children were taught to be studious and industrious, camping, boating, skiing, sports, and other family activities filled any remaining space on the calendar. Each of the children eventually married and raised families of their own, leading to 67 grandchildren and a growing number of great-grandchildren for Paul and Carlie.
Paul was an exceptional athlete. He won numerous tournaments in golf, handball, and racquetball. He was also a masterful water skier and downhill skier. On the ski slopes, he was known for his skill in telemark skiing, one of the most difficult and strenuous styles of skiing. Paul and Carlie maintained their season ski passes until just a couple of years ago.
Paul was a lifelong member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After struggling a little during his teen years, he was encouraged by his Uncle Gaylen to get back with the program, which he did. He had many opportunities to serve in the Church, including three times as a bishop, district president, counselor in a stake presidency, and regional representative for the Twelve. The Church was always of great importance to Paul, and he frequently bore his testimony of Jesus Christ and the Gospel.
Being a career military officer, Paul also had an abiding love for his country. He constantly worked to make the nation better and safer. Preservation of freedom and liberty were of vital concern to him.
Paul was preceded in death by his parents and a number of aunts and uncles, some of whom contributed significantly toto his upbringing, as well as sister-in-law Vedana Jensen, and brothers-in-law Kay, Don, Dale, and Ross Cromar. He was also preceded in death by half-sister Jackie Walden and an infant grandson Teancum Paul Jensen.
Paul is survived by Carlie, his loving wife of 68 years. He is also survived by his brother, Sam, as well as half-siblings Julie Phillips, Jana Smith, and Robert Hazen. His children and their spouses include Jeri (and David) Tobler, Lauri (and Robert) Argyle, Steven (and Lilian) Jensen, Keith (and Shelley) Jensen, Joni (and Kenneth) Justice, David (and Yuliet) Jensen, Sherri (and Reed) Winterton, Karen (and Kirk) Strong, Kenneth (and Michelle) Jensen, and Rachel (and Rick) Jensen. Remaining in-laws include Linda Cromar, Penny Cromar, Hevia Cromar, Bruce and Helga Cromar, Glen and Alene Cromar, and Joy Cromar, as well as daughter-in-law Debbie Hartvigsen. Sixty-seven grandchildren and a growing number of great-grandchildren are also among the posterity of Paul and Carlie. Paul was always proud of his posterity, and family was his top priority, along with his love of God.
The funeral services for James Paul Jensen will be held Saturday, October 7, 2023, at the Thayne Stake Center, 276 Dana Street, Thayne, Wyoming. The viewing will take place from 11:00 AM to 12:45 PM, followed by the funeral service at 1:00 PM. Interment will be at the Thayne Cemetery.