NORTH OGDEN — Greg Jensen is remembered as a kind, gentle man who lived to serve.
So much so that in his obituary, family members requested: “In lieu of flowers please provide random acts of service in Greg’s honor, as he loved to serve others.”
The 57-year-old North Ogden man was killed Tuesday, Nov. 29, in a three-vehicle crash on Washington Boulevard near 2300 North. His Suzuki Sidekick was struck by a Jeep Cherokee before rolling into oncoming traffic, where it collided with a gray Hyundai Sonata. North Ogden Police are awaiting a toxicology report on the driver of the Jeep and say charges may be pending.
Born July 26, 1959, in Ogden to Verl and Anna Lee Cox Jensen, Gregory Mark Jensen was a Clearfield High School graduate who owned his own dump truck business and also transported mail for the U.S. Postal Service. His family says he loved the outdoors, and particularly enjoyed hiking, camping, hunting, fishing, horseback riding and vacationing.
And, according to his obituary: “He recently took up Fantasy Football and enjoyed taunting his opponents.”
Daughter Kyrie Oliver, of Syracuse, said her father loved to gently tease those around him.
“One of his things we’ll miss a ton — he liked to harass you in a fun way,” Oliver said. “He was always joking and being funny. We’d always tease one another.”
Oliver says Jensen was a doting husband and father.
“He would do everything for us,” Oliver said. “Even as a husband, he would send my mom flowers for no other reason than because he loved her so much — he did that for the past 20 years they’ve been married.”
Oliver said her father was also “that guy who would quietly serve others.” If it snowed, he was out making sure neighbors’ drives and walkways were plowed.
“He wouldn’t ask if someone needed help, he just did it,” she said.
North Ogden neighbor Scott March remembers Jensen as a “genuine and open-hearted guy.”
“I built this house about the same time they built theirs, and we’ve been direct neighbors for the last 20 years,” March said. “We share a property line, and I’d gotten to know him quite well talking over the fence.”
It was Jensen’s service to others — including March — that stands out for him. March recalled the many times Jensen would make sure everyone’s sidewalks and driveways were clear following snowstorms.
“On a night when we’d have one of those big dumps, he’d be out there for hours and hours, refilling the gas tank in his snowblower a couple of times, making sure everybody was taken care of,” he said.
March says their neighborhood is on the backside of an elementary school, and Jensen would even make sure the sidewalks were clear over at the school — for those mothers who’d be dropping off their kids the next day.
“He was just the most genuine guy,” March said. “Everybody in the neighborhood liked him.”
March said if there’s one unsettling thought in all of this, it’s that Jensen was driving that Suzuki.
“The thing I find ironic is he loved that little Suzuki he was driving, it was like his toy car,” March said. “But in his garage was a brand new, full-size pickup, and had he been driving that big truck, he probably wouldn’t have died. That’s been bothering me a little.”
Jensen and his wife, Natalie Jensen, had just returned Nov. 12 from a three-week vacation celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary. They traveled to Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, then went straight from there to the Caribbean.
“He loved to travel; they traveled all the time,” Oliver said. “He’s been to more places than I know.”
To people who didn’t know her father, she said, he seemed like a shy person who didn’t like crowds.
“But when you got to know him, he’d chat your ear off — especially about the things he loved, like horses, guns and camping,” she said.
His next-door neighbor, Danny Vaughn, described Jensen as a “blue-collar working-type.”
“He was just a good guy — kind, gentle, I don’t think I ever heard him raise his voice,” Vaughn said. “We’ve lived all over the country, and when we settled here we thought, ‘If we could just have a couple of good neighbors …’ ”
Vaughn says they found that neighbor in Jensen.
“He’s probably the best neighbor I’ve ever had,” Vaughn said.
The day Jensen died, Vaughn remembers coming home from the gym about mid-morning and seeing his friend out clearing snow off the sidewalk.
“We often stop and talk, but I didn’t want to bother him,” Vaughn recalls. “Then my wife came home at about 3:30 and she was horrified. ‘Did you hear,’ she said. ‘Greg was killed.’ I still can’t wrap my head around it, to tell you the truth.”
Jensen was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and worked with the young men’s program in his ward.
Oliver said the family is obviously hurting right now, but they’ve also felt an overwhelming feeling of love from their friends and neighbors praying for them. That feeling of love extends to the person who caused the crash that took her father, she said.
“We also want people to know we’ve been praying for whoever caused this accident,” Oliver said. “We know it was an accident, and we’re sure their heart is heavy. We want them to know we love them, and we want them to know we forgive them. We don’t want them to have any hard feelings, and we know Greg wouldn’t want them to.”
Funeral services are planned for 11 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 7, at the Ben Lomond LDS 9th Ward, 575 E. 3100 North, North Ogden. A viewing will be held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 6, at the church. Friends may also visit with the family from 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Wednesday, prior to the services.
Jensen will be interred at the Ben Lomond Cemetery.
Oliver isn’t looking forward to a future without her father, but she also believes there’s a bigger lesson to be learned in this tragedy — that of being grateful and kind to everyone.
“We had Greg Tuesday morning, and Tuesday afternoon he was gone,” she said. “It’s a reminder for us to love one another, pay it forward and not to sweat the small things.”