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Published: Friday, 4/26/2002

Retired goldsmith co-founded Shriner motorcycle corps

Richard “Dick” Jensen, a retired goldsmith and jewelry maker, died of emphysema Wednesday in his Maumee home. He was 75.

Mr. Jensen was the co-owner of Jensen Jewelers, Inc., a Toledo manufacturer of jewelry, until his retirement several years ago. The business remains in operation, at 4481 Monroe St., under his son and nephew, in its third generation of family management.

“He was an excellent goldsmith. It was a craft we began to learn at an early age,” said his younger brother and former partner, Gordon Jensen.

The Jensen brothers took over the business from their father Russ, who founded it a half-century ago on Adams Street in downtown Toledo. It moved to Jefferson Avenue near Mercy Hospital and, five years ago, to its current location on Monroe Street at Secor Road.

Dick Jensen grew up in Minneapolis, where he began working in his father's retail jewelry business at 14, his wife, Betty, said. Before joining his father in Toledo, he worked for a jewelry maker in Chicago and served in the South Pacific during World War II as a Navy machinist's mate.

A longtime member of the Zenobia Shrine Temple, Mr. Jensen and his brother founded the Shriners' Motorcycle Corps, whose members appear in parades on large white motorcycles.

During the 1960s, the Jensen brothers and their motorcycles were pressed into service as an escort for a Toledo visit by Bob Hope, Gordon Jensen said.

In 1980, Dick Jensen was named potentate of the Shrine Temple.

Mr. Jensen was a baseball fan, an avid golfer, and member of Heather Downs Country Club. He and Mrs. Jensen were married for 49 years.

Surviving are his wife, Betty Ann; daughters, Barbara and Lisa Jensen; son, David; sisters, Barbara Malone, Marlys Beatty, and Phylis Shyrock; brother, Gordon, and five grandchildren.

Services will be at 10 a.m. tomorrow in the Coyle Funeral Home, where the body will be after 6 p.m. today.

The family requests tributes to Shriners Hospitals or to the Hospice of Northwest Ohio in Perrysburg Township.

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