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Goodbye, Mr. Jensen

Wednesday, Aug 25, 2010

* My biggest fan (who isn’t a relative) just died. My father fills us in…

Arnold Jensen and I have been friends for forty years. He taught me more about the fuel business than anybody and on top of that we genuinely liked each other. Whether it was playing pool at his house all night long with friends, or having ten cent beers at Mathy’s Corner Tap in Clifton or sharing time together as officers of the Lion’s club, or sitting on his porch in Clifton, I always enjoyed our time together. Sometimes we would just get in the car and go for a ride around the country. He was a very positive person, positive about life, work, people, whatever.

Arnold and Kitty [his wife] moved us to Hanover in 1975. Moving is when you find out who is your best friend or family member. That effort cemented an already firm bond and cemented it forever.

We stayed in contact through mail, phone, then email and I always found time to drop in and visit them whenever I was in town.

He loved reading Rich’s column in the Clifton Advocate plus I would email the Sun-Times column and then he read Rich’s Blog every day. Rich dropped in to see him once and I took their picture. Arnold hung it above his kitchen table.

There were a lot of connections when Kitty moved into the nursing home before Mom moved out the first time. Arnold then moved into an assisted living apartment at the home to be near Kitty every day, the one Mom had been living in. Kitty passed away earlier this year and it was rough on Arnold as they had always been together. Arnold’s Dad lived to be 102, but life wasn’t the same for Arnold without Kitty. I talked to him the other day and he said he was having a hard time.

This morning he passed away. I’m going back this weekend. Last year he rode in the Herscher Labor Day Parade with me in the Cadillac and we had a GREAT TIME! I will always cherish that last great time we had together.

I’ve known Mr. Jensen since I was a child. He was a heckuva guy and I really got a kick out of sitting down with him several months ago. He was so happy to see me you’d have thought I was some international star or something. I’ll never forget that as long as I live.

Anyway, I owed him this post. Thanks for reading.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Boone Logan Square - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 2:27 pm:

    Condolences on your losses this week, Rich.

  2. - Amalia - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 2:31 pm:

    Rich, you and your dad have had a rough week. pick
    a nice afternoon, and get out for a ride with dad
    in that Cadillac. take along a couple of brews,
    stop at a hilltop, and toast your friends, your
    frienship, and your ability to share the good times
    and the bad, with all of us. condolences.

  3. - Ryan - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 2:43 pm:

    Arnold was a fixture in this town. For the past couple years you would often see him ride around town on his motorized scooter, usually heading to the post office or grocery store, always smiling. He’ll be missed.

  4. - Gathersno - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 2:50 pm:

    So sorry for your and your Dad’s loss, Rich. May the fond memories of your times with him bring you comfort.

  5. - Irish - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 2:57 pm:

    He sounds like a great guy. Condolences to you and your Dad. Thank you for sharing. Hearing about folks like this restores your faith in your fellow man.

  6. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 3:00 pm:

    You guys are probably getting condolence fatigue. Sorry, but I really did owe the man something. I should’ve written it when he was alive.

  7. - 10th Indy - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 3:13 pm:

    Rich -

    You should never apoligize for using your blog to honor the people who matter to you. We’re all a little better for reading about them. Peace.

  8. - D.P. Gumby - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 3:35 pm:

    Rough week for you…condolences and good wishes…”Hard times come again no more”

  9. - Quinn T. Sential - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 3:35 pm:


    I agree Amalia. You should have your dad pick you up in the Obamalac, and then drive you to Mathy’s Corner Tap in Clifton, where they should host ten cent beer night in honor of the memory of Arnold Jensen.

  10. - Third Generation Chicago Native - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 3:35 pm:

    Rich don’t apoligize, but thanks for sharing the life of another wonderful person this world has lost. Sorry to hear about Mr. Jensen.

  11. - Fan of Cap Fax - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 3:41 pm:

    God speed to Kitty, Mr.Jensen. The two of you will be the brightest star in the sky tonight.

    Rich, your pain is our pain. I’m so sorry, but thank you for sharing.

  12. - Justice - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 4:23 pm:

    Good friends are one of the great treasures of this life here. Smiles and kind deeds are the fuel for the journey on. Sounds like your friends have plenty of fuel. You’ll just have to keep smiling and doing for others so you can catch up with them some day.

    All the very best to you Rich!

  13. - Say WHAT? - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 4:26 pm:

    Never apologize to us. When you hurt, we hurt too. We are a family on this blog, just as disfunctional as most. Condolences, Rich.

  14. - Living in Oklahoma - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 4:38 pm:

    Rich, the lasting impression that you make on people is owed to your hard work. Never feel uneasy about people treating you like an “international superstar” because in reality, here in Illinois, you bring a perspective that the “international superstars” of the news media couldn’t match if they tried.

  15. - Anon 7 - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 4:46 pm:

    Rich - you and your father have a great way with words. I have enjoyed reading the tributes this week to your friends. You remind us that political disagreements will come and go, but healthy human relationships are the foundation for a happy and meaningful life. Thank you.

  16. - KeepSmiling - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 4:49 pm:

    A toast to Mr. Jensen! May he now be in peace, reunited with the love of his life.

  17. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 5:05 pm:

    I am amazed at the quality friendships you and your family have had. I hope I can be that type of friend to somebody. May Mr. Jensen rest in peace. Another good individual has left this Earth for better pastures.

  18. - sal-says - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 5:07 pm:

    Great tribute…..Arnold sounds like he was a great, upstanding guy. We lose these folks way too soon.

    Condolences and sympathy again. Too few of these kinds of folks seem to exist; Rich, you are very fortunate to have been able to connect wih him.

  19. - Park - Wednesday, Aug 25, 10 @ 6:39 pm:

    Nice thing to do. Don’t know Clifton, but next time I’m turkey hunting Hanover way, I’ll stop at the Viking and toast your dad and his buddy.

  20. - dupage dan - Thursday, Aug 26, 10 @ 8:31 am:


    I echo the sentiments here - no need to apologize. You are who you are, in large part, because of the people you care about and the impact they have had on you. Whether we agree with you or not on things discussed here your life, and by extension your blog and all of us, benefit from it. Arnold sounds like the kind of man who is cherished in the family and community. May God bless him.

  21. - Siyotanka - Thursday, Aug 26, 10 @ 8:58 am:

    Rich you said something I learned a long time ago, when a person passes it is too late say “thank you friend”, “I love you” or hug them. Although loses make the memories go deeper and remembrances last forever. Peace be with you friend. Our hearts go out to you this week.


  22. - Aldyth - Thursday, Aug 26, 10 @ 9:13 am:

    Mr. Jensen was part of a generation that we’re losing and this is a very painful loss for all of us.

  23. - Alissa-greatful grandaughter - Thursday, Aug 26, 10 @ 1:41 pm:

    THANK YOU for your kind wordS! I’m so glad to hear about the many people my grandfather has met and how he touched their lives as much as he has our family.

  24. - Jessica - Friday, Aug 27, 10 @ 8:09 am:

    Thank You from the family for your post. Grandpa was really proud to have you and your dad as friends. He talked about both of you frequently, and only a couple of months ago he told me of the story of helping your Dad move. We are looking forward to seeing and for some of us meeting your Dad tonight. Grandpa will be missed by many and remembered by everyone he ever came in contact with…Thank You.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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