OBITUARIES: Friday, March 28

By Observer Upload March 28, 2014 09:52 am
Askins, Gray, Hanson, Jensen



Larue Askins


Larue Askins, 55, of Summerville, died at home Wednesday. Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home and Cremation Services is in charge of arrangements.



Sharlene Gray

La Grande

Sharlene Gray, 78, of La Grande, died Thursday at her home. A full obituary will be published later. Loveland Funeral Chapel & Crematory will be handling the arrangements.



Amanda K. Hanson

La Grande

Amanda K. Hanson, 32, of La Grande, died Thursday at her residence. A full obituary will be published later. Loveland Funeral Chapel & Crematory will be handling the arrangements.



Don Leroy Jensen

La Grande


Don Leroy Jensen, 69, died peacefully in his home in La Grande March 25 surrounded by his wife and children. Amidst their tears, his wife remarked, “I don’t know of another man who is more loved than this one.”

Services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 11206 S. McAlister Road in Island City. A public viewing will be from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. prior to the funeral service.

Don was born to Jacob Andrus and Alma Eileen (Lapier) Jensen of Emmett, Idaho, on July 25, 1944. After serving an LDS mission to Paris, France, Don met his sweetheart, Rosala Orton, in Pendleton. They were married in Manti, Utah, in September 1967. Don graduated from Brigham Young University and was employed in locations in Idaho, California, Utah, Washington and Oregon. He later completed coursework for a doctoral degree in Greeley, Colo.

Everywhere he went, Don made his life a symphony of freely shared talents, love for his family and deep commitment to God.

Don lived the ideal that anything worth doing is worth sharing. He often said that “beautiful music enhances and improves every aspect of life,” and he firmly believed that everyone has musical ability to cultivate.

Blessed with a love of dancing, a beautiful singing voice and a gift for the violin, Don could coax music out of nearly any instrument — or any person. For many years, “Mr. J” directed orchestra and other music programs in schools in North Powder, La Grande and Aberdeen, Wash. He also conducted and participated in symphony programs, organized and led choirs, wrote and arranged music, started and supported groups that played ukulele, recorder and fiddle, and in countless ways encouraged beautiful art wherever he found it. Perhaps his sweetest music was that which he made with his family.

Don actively supported the Boy Scouts of America and wholeheartedly served in the LDS church. 

Among his many levels of service and church assignments, he was an ordained seventy and also served as a bishop and as a temple worker — but Don’s greatest service was as a husband and father. 

His faith in Christ undergirded everything in his life and sustained him in hope through the end.

Despite failing health, Don produced “The Messiah” at Christmastime in La Grande for many years, a tradition which unites faith, family and community. Following the final 2013 performance, Don collapsed and suffered from complications that eventually led to his death. Don would be pleased to know that “he willingly gave his life for the Messiah.”

Survivors include his wife, Rosala, of La Grande, and 12 children: Daunell (Roger) Clarke, of Pleasant Grove, Utah; Nathan (Alison) Jensen, of Katy, Texas; Melodie (Jerome) Emigholz, of New City, New York; Sharalen (Nathan) Benson, of Mendon, Utah; Aaron (Cindy) Jensen, of Brewster, Wash.; Rachel (Sam) Jenkins, of Kuna, Idaho; Bethani (Blaine) Quebbeman, of Imbler; Charity (Joshua) Fusselman, of Boise, Idaho; and Jacob Jensen, David Jensen, Daniel Jensen, and Sonnet Jensen, all of La Grande. 

Don is also survived by three brothers, two sisters and 33 grandchildren.