Obituary: Jay E. Jensen

Published: Friday, Sept. 19 2003 12:00 a.m. MDT

1928 ~ 2003

Jay Ellsworth Jensen passed away at home on September 16, 2003.

He was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, May l1, l928 to Bryan Critchlow and Naomi Adeline Ellsworth Jensen. He was two years old at the beginning of the depression when his parents separated and his mother returned with him to the states. He lived in California until he was 11 and was then blessed to be raised in the home of his aunt and uncle, Ruth and Dr. T.A. Clawson in Salt Lake City. There he also acquired two "sisters", Patricia and Sue Clawson.

Upon graduation from East High School and after two years at the University of Utah, he served a three year mission in Denmark spending the last five months as first counselor to the mission president. His Petersen/ Sorensen group still celebrates semi-annual missionary reunions. He then served two years in the military stationed in Germany.

He graduated from the University of Utah law school in 1956 and on July 28, 1958, married Tonia Stallings in the Salt Lake Temple. They are the parents of six children. Also in 1958, he joined the law firm of Moreton, Christensen & Christensen. The name was changed to Christensen & Jensen when he became a partner in l962. Throughout his career he has been an active trial lawyer, primarily in the defense of casualty cases. He was a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, member (and former President) of American Inn of Court One; International Association of Defense Counsel; and Federation of Insurance Defense and Corporate Counsel. He was a true exemplar of all the things good lawyers should be, and no one has loved the profession more. This past July, he was the recipient of the Distinguished Lawyer of the Year award.

Raised in a musical family, Jay had a great appreciation for good music. He enjoyed singing with The Beehive Statesmen barbershop chorus for a number of years. As a young man, he was active in the Sugar House Jaycees where he was recognized as the outstanding young man of the community for 1959. He served several years at the U of U as Mission President, high councilman and was bishop of the University 9th Student Ward. He was twice a counselor in his home ward bishoprics. The last year and a half he has enjoyed serving with his wife as an ordinance worker in the Salt Lake Temple.

Devotion to his family, the Lord, his profession, and approaching every problem with patience and a positive attitude, is the great legacy he has left for us to emulate. He leaves behind his wife, Tonia; his children: Lauri (Bob) Moncur, Bountiful, UT; Richard (Shawna); David (Rulayne), both Sandy, UT; Chris (Stacey), Draper, UT; Carrie (Anthony) Lowe, Roseville, CA; Steven (Jodi), Allen, TX.; also 24 much loved grandchildren. His "sisters", Pat (Art) Jackson, Rogue River, OR; and Sue (Gene) Smith, Nauvoo, IL. also survive him. We are ever grateful for loving doctors and care givers who have been so attentive these past two and a half years as he battled pancreatic cancer. Thank you!

Funeral services will be held at 12:00 noon, Monday, Sept. 22, 2003, at the Ensign 6th Ward, 589 E. 18th Ave, Salt Lake City, Utah. Friends may call Sunday from 6 to 8 p.m. at Larkin Mortuary, 260 E. South Temple, and Monday from 10:45 to 11:45 prior to the service. Burial will be at the Salt Lake Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions be made to the LDS Perpetual Education Fund.

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