In Memory

Louis K Jensen - Class Of 1943

Louis K Jensen

Louie Jensen passed away at home on May 15, 2011 with his daughter, Marcia and his wife, Ann by his side.  He was 85 years old.

Louie was born in Chicago.  In 1940, he moved with his parents to California where he graduated from South Pasadena High School.  He went on to Cal Tech where he entered the Navy V-12 program and graduated in three years with a BS in electrical engineering.  He served in the Navy for about four years, then went to Denison University where he earned a BA in physics, and met his first wife Frances Plusch.  They moved back to California where Louie attended UCLA and where their three children, Robert, Stephen, and Marcia were born.  His graduate work at UCLA was to help maintain and operate the historic UCLA FM cyclotron, as well as construct his own experimental apparatus which involved state-of-the-art electronics in the era of vacuum tube pulse amplifiers and processors, gamma ray scintillation counters and high vacuum experiment chambers.  His thesis topic was Gamma Radiation from Excited States of Light Nuclei.  He earned an MA and PhD in nuclear physics from UCLA.

Dr. Jensen was a retired engineer, manager, and scientist, with graduate training in Clinical Psychology and he worked 33 years for TRW in ballistic missile and spacecraft control systems engineering and spacecraft software development.  He was manager of the Control Systems Laboratory and assistant project manager for software on the NASA Compton Observatory.  In addition to his technical experience, he worked six years in personnel and led the company's in-house management development program.  He conducted workshops for the National Science Foundation, and was an independent consultant to the National Security Agency and the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Louie was a scientist.  He was quiet, serious, contemplative, analytical, and skeptical.  He loved backpacking, skiing, sailing his Lido 14 and his Hobie Cat, and exploring nature.  He was a charter member of the King Harbor Yacht Club where he met Ann; they married in 1968.  He loved woodworking, and he made beautiful things with his hands.  Louie drew the working plans for his house in Princeville, Kauai on the ocean bluff overlooking the Pacific.  He drew the plans for the tiny cabin he had built in the wilderness inside Sequoia National Park.  He beautifully remodeled the interior of his 1912 Craftsman Bungalow in El Segundo.  Louie loved his three children, his two stepchildren, his ten grandchildren and his four great-grandchildren, and he loved Ann, his wife of 43 years.

Daily Breeze, June 2, 2011