Sig JENSEN

Sig JENSEN

JENSEN – Sigurd “Sig” (Bunka to his grandchildren), passed away on Feb. 12, 2009 at the Stettler Health Care Centre after a long battle with cancer. Sig was born on Feb. 14, 1926 at Grandelevgaard, the family farm near Maabjerg per Holstebro, Denmark and he lived there until age 12 when he was sent to work on a relative’s farm. In 1940, Sig finished Grade 7 and began to work full time on the farm. In 1942, he moved back home to apprentice as a mechanic. In 1946, he helped blow up bunkers and tank traps throughout Denmark and the next year began working on oil rigs in Denmark. In 1948, he was conscripted into the Danish Army where he continued his mechanic’s training. Two years later, he was honourably discharged and returned to the rigs. In 1953, Sig came to Canada and worked various jobs including building bridges in Calgary, AB until he was hired as a rig mechanic for Commonwealth (later Imperial Oil). He bought the farm at Big Valley, AB in 1954 but continued to work the rigs in western Canada and NWT until 1965 when he became a full time farmer. In 1958, he earned his pilot’s license for single engine planes. It was through Imperial Oil that he met his very good friends Wilf & Audrey Bowe and Felix Hewko. In 1965, he married Anne Birgit Madsen, another Danish immigrant. To this union, three children were born: Ingrid in 1967, Hannah in 1969 and Paul in 1970. The family lived on the farm near Big Valley until 1975 when Hannah passed away from injuries sustained in a farm accident.This event devastated the family and had a profound effect on Sig for many years after. The family returned to Denmark that summer for a visit (Sig’s last trip to Denmark) and later that year Anne and Sig separated. Ingrid and Paul frequently visited their father on the farm. Paul moved back to the farm for his junior high years and again in 1992 as an adult when he began farming his dad’s land. Sig’s five grandchildren meant the world to him. He always had cookies and candy for them and bought them a baby gator to match his big John Deere Gator. He also loved shooting the breeze over coffee with his friends. He left the farm in April last year due to his ill health and stayed with Ingrid for a few months before moving into the Willow Creek Lodge where he found much pleasure in visiting with the other residents and having his friends and family for lunch. Sig is survived by his daughter Ingrid Shepherd, his son Paul (Ariane) Jensen, their mother Anne Birgit Jensen, his grandchildren Hannah, Sophie and Rhys Shepherd and Michelle and Soren Jensen. His brothers and sister in Denmark, Otto Jensen, Svend Jensen and Anna Jacobsen, his son-in-law, Michael Shepherd, his nephews Johan Jensen, Jan Jensen, Peter Jensen and numerous other nieces and nephews in Denmark. He was predeceased by his daughter Hannah, his parents Johan and Magdalene Jensen, his brothers and sisters Peder Jensen, Kristian Jensen, Jens Jensen, Gertrud Jensen, Sinne Schou and Maren Skov. A memorial service for Sig was held at the Jubilee Hall in Big Valley on Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2009 with Reverend Mark Osborne officiating. Active pallbearers were Michael Shepherd, Marty Fraser, Marty Gridley and Randy Gridley. Honourary pallbearers were Jorg and Barbara Luthi, Audrey Bowe and Felix Hewko. Private interment will follow in the spring. A reception followed at the hall served by the Big Valley Royal Purple ladies. As an expression of sympathy, memorial contributions may be made to the Canadian Cancer Society in care of Brennen Funeral Home (2001) Ltd., P.O. Box 193, Stettler, AB TOC 2LO. Condolences may be e-mailed to brennenf@telusplanet.net. 403-742-3315


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