Rudolf J. Jensen

Rudolf J. Jensen, age 77, of Ames, Iowa died July 28, 2022, at his family’s cabin on Burntside Lake, near Ely, MN.

“Rudy” was born May 19, 1945 in Virginia, MN to Harald R. and Ingrid (Waananen) Jensen. He lived in Ames, IA until 2nd grade when the family moved to Kentucky, Indiana, and finally to Minnesota where he graduated from Alexander Ramsey High School, Roseville, MN and Carleton College, Northfield, MN. He received an MA from the University of Minnesota and a PhD in Scandinavian Studies and Literature from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. He taught at Grand View College, Des Moines, IA for much of his teaching career. He had strong Scandinavian roots and enjoyed researching local history and Scandinavian immigration.

In 1970, he married Helen (Hannay) Jensen. They shared life and built a strong family and community together. Ames, IA has been their home since 1985, but they always spent time at their cabin in Northern Minnesota. Rudy’s compass pointed north early in the spring for his seasonal migration. He found great joy there: avidly reading, working on projects, swimming, canoeing and skiing on the lake, taking saunas, baking bread, and being with family. He felt a deep connection to the Northland and lake place, and friends and family share many memories of him there.

He is survived by his wife Helen of Ames, IA; son Tomas Jensen (Heidi) and grandchildren Lukas, Malin, and Aina of Anchorage, AK; daughter Eleanor Jensen of Dennison, MN; brother Paul (Sherill Hudson) of Daniel, WY; and sister Katharine A. Jensen (John Protevi) of Baton Rouge, LA.
He was preceded in death by his parents and infant son, Christoffer R. Jensen.

No formal memorial service is planned at this time. A private family remembrance will be held in Minnesota at a later date. Donations and memorials may be made to the Ely-Winton Historical Society, 1900 E. Camp St., Ely, MN 55731; the Ames Public Library Friends Foundation, P.O. Box 1832, Ames, IA 50010; or a charity of your choice in Rudy’s memory.

Family Services have been provided by Bauman-Cron, A Bauman Family Funeral Home in Virginia, MN