In Memory of Walter B. Jensen

January 1, 1941 - July 11, 2023

Walter Bryan Jensen, age 82, departed this earthly life on July 11, 2023, at Burnett Medical Continuing Care Center from complications from a stroke. Bryan was born in Grantsburg, Wisconsin, on New Year's Day, 1941, to Walter M. Jensen and Marion (Fink) Jensen. Bryan was baptized and confirmed at English Lutheran Church in Grantsburg.

He graduated from Grantsburg High School in 1959. An athlete who excelled in baseball, football, track, and basketball, he set track and basketball records that only recently have been surpassed. Bryan still held the records for Most Points Scored in a Season and Highest Scoring Average per game from over 60 years ago. Bryan graduated from Hamline University in 1963 where he enjoyed a stellar basketball career under coach Joe Hutton, Sr. The 1960 Basketball Team, which ranked 15th in the nation in the NAIA, was inducted into the Hamline University Hall of Fame in 1978. He was also a member of the Theta Chi fraternity where he made lifelong friends. As his friend Tag would say “He was our leader whether we flirted with the law or not.”

Bryan and Deanne Dumont Kaldor shared a beautiful daughter, Michelle “Chelle” Montoya, from his first marriage. On December 29, 1973, Bryan married the love of his life, Cynthia Ann Sebion in Chaseburg, WI. Two sons, Walter Joshua and Matthew Sebion, were born to this union. He loved watching and coaching his boys in the sports he so enjoyed.

Banking was his career until 1981. In 1970, Bryan was Assistant Vice President at the First Southdale National Bank, Edina, MN, when he left to work at the First Bank of Grantsburg. He served as Chairman of the Board during his time there. He was involved in the restaurant business and earned his private plane pilot's license. In his later years he enjoyed delivering mail on a rural route where he could visit with his regular patrons.

Bryan loved water skiing, downhill skiing in Colorado/Montana and snowmobiling in Yellowstone National Park with family and friends. An outdoorsman, Bryan, was an avid golfer, fisherman and hunter. Trips to the Sebion farm in Chaseburg brought out his inner farmer and he spent many happy days there helping with the tobacco harvest or the dairy cows.

Bryan was a gifted storyteller. He was happiest wearing a flannel while sitting on his deck on Big Wood Lake or in his lanai in Naples, FL, surrounded by his loving family, particularly his four grandchildren who fondly called him Bop Bop. If you were lucky enough to know "BJ,” you knew he had a big heart filled with kindness for everyone, particularly children and animals. His big smile and positive attitude will be sadly missed by his family and friends.

Preceded in death by his parents, Walter and Marion Jensen; his sister Mary Ann Erickson; brother-in-law, Bruce E. Erickson; nephews, Todd Erickson and Mark Erickson.

Survived by his loving wife, Cindy; daughter Chelle (Janel) Jensen; sons, Walt (Krista) Jensen and Matt (Tanya) Jensen; grandchildren, Brecken and Marin, Luella and Maverick; sister, Renee (Todd) Anderson; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

The family sincerely thanks Carol Ahlquist, Director, and the caregivers at Burnett Medical Continuing Care Center for their wonderful and compassionate care of our beloved Bryan the past two years.

Memorial donations may be made to the Grantsburg Athletic Department, New Hope Lutheran Church or Faith Lutheran Church.

Services will be held at Faith Lutheran Church with Visitation on Friday, July 21; 4-6p.m. and his Celebration of Life Service on Saturday, July 22; 11:00a.m. with visitation beginning at 10:00a.m. with Pastors Emory Johnson and John Addison officiating. Pallbearers are Skip Olson, Jim Sundquist, Jens Anderson, Brent Erickson, Scott Erickson and Ben Newlin. Honorary pallbearers are George Redman, Jim Merrit, Butch Hunter and Lawrence Anderson.

Arrangements were entrusted to Swedberg-Taylor Funeral Home.

Last Update: Jul 17, 2023 11:01 am CDT

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