October 16, 1943 ~ September 28, 2018
Our beloved father, an inimitable friend to countless, whose daring charisma, outsized personality and zest for fun and family broke the mold, has been silenced too soon.
Surrounded by his children, Phil Jensen succumbed peacefully September 28, 2018, following a six-year bout with advanced dementia and Alzheimer's Disease. He was 74.
Born October 16, 1943, in Brigham City, Utah, Phil was raised with two brothers and two sisters on the town's tree-canopied Main Street.
There, he worked at his parents adjoining store, Bud's Market, wearing Levis, and oversized aprons, playing football out front with his brothers, often with no customers.
An agile and speedy lifelong athlete, Phil helped his Box Elder High School football team win the state championship then snatched a football scholarship as a defensive end to Snow College.
Drafted by the Army in the early 1960's, Phil went from Fort Polk, Louisiana, to Fort Sheridan, Illinois, earning an honor medal for unselfish devotion to duty.
He studied journalism and political science at the Defense Information School in New York City, graduating in 1965.
Phil married and returned to Utah, where he had his first two children. He worked as a popular disc jockey at KBUH Radio in Brigham City before landing at the Ogden Standard-Examiner as a general assignment reporter in 1966. He rose through the ranks over two decades, working as State Editor, City Editor, and the paper's lead investigative reporter.
Phil was a commanding writer, saying more in less space than most. Punchy, heartfelt, clear and memorable, his journalism and creative writing was both brave and soulful. His newspaper career spanned four decades, anchored by a detective-like nose for exposing government malfeasance, dirty politicians and corruption. But he was also a watchdog for unexpected human-interest stories, told in a voice all his own.
Phil wed again in 1972, to Georgia Sullivan, the love of his life. They had two boys on the east bench of Ogden where he remained until the mid-1990's. After a short stint in Georgia, where he was offered a writing coach position at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Phil returned to Logan, Utah as the lead investigative reporter at The Herald Journal before his retirement.
Phil had an unbound love for the mountains, spending each fall hunting the Wasatch with family and a lifetime of summer weekends hiking and camping. His adventures from Jackson Hole to the Grand Canyon to San Francisco, his favorite city, were epic.
A voracious reader, Phil had a devastating wit and a disarming ability for rapid comebacks in his trademark baritone. He was a sports lover, particularly when it came to the Boston Red Sox and Boston Celtics, playing baseball for decades and coaching youth soccer. Phil was also a lifelong tennis player and skier, tackling Snowbasin with wild abandon.
His sentimentality was unmatched. Phil lived audaciously, aggressive and unbowed. But, like his father before, he was the most tender man we ever knew.
He was proceeded in death by his parents, Wilson "Bud" Jensen and Dorothy Jensen; and his brother, Lynn Jensen.
He is survived by siblings: Kaylene Nelson (Jerry), Shaunna Sandersfeld and Bill Jensen (Vickie). He will be dearly missed by his four children: Christian Jensen, Kelly Creek, Derek Jensen, and Paul Jensen; his four grandchildren and two great- grandchildren.
A funeral service will be held Tuesday, October 2, 2018, at Brigham City Cemetery at 11 a.m. We would be honored for all friends, and family and guests to join us that afternoon (Oct 2) to celebrate Phil's remarkable life at an Open House with food, drinks and stories. At 2565 Eccles Ave., in Ogden from 3 p.m. until late.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Phil Jensen Memorial Fund at America First Credit Union.