Val Don Jensen, a retired local dentist and longtime Carson City resident, passed away at Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center early in the morning of March 7, 2023 at age 90 of natural causes.
Val was born in his parents’ house in the small farming town of Garland, Utah on April 17, 1932. He was the first of four children born to Donald Larson Jensen and Margaret B Hall Jensen. Val grew up in Garland surrounded by many members of his family on both sides and graduated from Bear River High School in 1950. It was there that he met his eternal companion, Donna Rae Nelson at an LDS seminary dance when they were both Juniors in high school. Shortly after his graduation, Val’s National Guard unit, the 204th Army Field Artillery Battalion, was activated for the Korean War. During a short furlough from artillery training at Ft. Lewis, Washington, he returned to Garland to be married to Donna in the LDS Logan Temple on December 11, 1950. Val advanced to the rank of Sergeant First Class and oversaw the fire control squadron for the three artillery batteries of his battalion. He served 13 months in Korea and then was assigned as a drill sergeant to train other artilleryman at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas. He was honorably discharged in 1952 after 24 months of active duty.
Following his military service, Val entered Weber State College in Ogden, Utah and then was accepted into dental school at Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, from where he graduated in 1960. After graduation, Val subsequently joined the Uniformed US Public Health Service and the family moved to Seattle, Washington for a year during Val‘s internship. Val
was then transferred to Gallup, New Mexico and the family lived in Albuquerque for the next four years, where Val worked as a dentist on several Native American reservations.
Val was then transferred to the Stewart Indian School and the family moved to Carson City, Nevada in 1965. Donna and Val both loved Carson City and decided to make it their home. Val started part-time private practice in 1965, then left the Public Health Service in 1967. Val practiced as a dentist in Carson City for over 33 years. Including their retirement years, Val and Donna lived in Carson City for over 57 years.
Val was well known for his jovial manner and always had a joke to share. He would often sing to his patients to distract them while performing dental procedures. He was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, serving in many capacities, including as a Bishop’s Counselor, Bishop, High Councilor, and stake missionary. Val was a member of the American Dental Association, the Nevada State Dental Association, and served as a board member and subsequently as president of the Nevada State Board of Oriental Medicine. He also sang for several years with the Barbershop Harmony Association. He was very active in the Korean War Veterans Association, serving in several positions, and was instrumental in
the construction of the Korean War Veterans Memorial at the east end of Fifth St. in Carson City and the Veterans Memorial Highway markers on Highway 95 just east of Hawthorne, Nevada, commemorating the veterans of US combat since World War I. He was a philanthropist, contributing to his church and many local and national charities, as well as scholarships for many deserving students.
Val is survived by two sons, Ross Christian “Chris” Jensen and Kevin Val (Lois) Jensen, as well as two daughters, Cheryl (Tom) Hanneman and Tamara “Tami” (Gary) Jones. Another son, Lance Don Jensen, and Val’s beloved Donna Jensen, preceded him in death. He is also survived by his sister, Marlene Jensen (Ted) Ramsdell of Salt Lake City, Utah, Allen Reo (Jan) Jensen of Tremonton, Utah and Jill Jensen (Lyle) Johnson of Smithfield, Utah, as well as 12 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren.
Val will be remembered for his sense of humor, charity, kindness and example of a disciple
A memorial service for Val will be held at the C-Hill Chapel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 1331 Mackay Drive, Carson City, Nevada, 89703, on March 25, 2023 at
11:00 AM. The program will be broadcast over Zoom and a link will be provided to interested parties by contacting Kevin Jensen by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In lieu of flowers, Val would request donations to the Korean War Veterans Association, Carson City Chapter #305, PO Box 63, Carson City, NV, 89702. Please contact the Chapter President, Roy Semmens, by email at Razorwire211@gmail.com.