Boy Henry Jessen, known as “Hank” by his friends, passed away Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018 at Swedish Hospital in Englewood, CO. He was 87 years old. Hank Jessen was a long time resident of Cheyenne County and for the past 12 years was a resident of Sidney.
Funeral services will be at 10:00 A.M., Friday, February 9th in the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Sidney with Pastor Dave Hall officiating. Burial will follow in the Weyerts Cemetery north of Lodgepole. Friends may stop at the Gehrig-Stitt Chapel on Thursday from 1-7:00 P.M. with family present from 4-6. Memorial contributions may be made in Henry’s name to Holy Trinity Lutheran Church or Weyerts Immanuel Lutheran Church. You may view Henry’s Book of Memories, leave condolences, photos and stories at www.gehrigstittchapel.com.
Henry, son of Boy Hindrig Jessen and Ane Kirstine Kragh Jessen, was born June 5, 1930 at his family home. His parents were newcomers to the United States, having arrived at Lexington, Nebraska from Denmark in 1926. Hank grew up in a large family, with 6 sisters and 5 brothers. His family had strong ties to Denmark, with a Danish cultural background. He and his siblings all learned to speak Danish fluently. He was also raised with a strong Christian faith, which guided him through his entire life. He attended Lexington Public Schools through the tenth grade, and then quit school to help out with the family farm. He also attended West Nebraska Technical College of Sidney and was enlisted in the Army Reserve.
In 1952 he met the love of his life, Joyce Elaine Ingwerson, while calling square dances one evening. They were married at Holy Trinity Church, in Sidney, on May 30th, 1953. Hank & Joyce remained together for nearly 63 years. They made their first home at Eddyville, NE, with Hank farming there for two years. Hank & Joyce then moved to Cheyenne County, to live in Joyce’s grandparents’ house. The farm was a grain and livestock farm, and Hank raised wheat, millet, cattle, and hogs. After 11 years, they moved their family to Chappell to be closer to schools. Hank continued farming. In 1984, once all three children graduated from Chappell High School, they moved back to the family farm. Joyce and Henry lived on the family “Century Farm” and in the stone house for another 21 years, where they enjoyed sunsets and the peace and beauty of western Nebraska. Hank always enjoyed his farming, in spite of hails, low prices, and other adversities. In 2005, Hank and Joyce moved to Sidney. In 2015, they moved into Sloan Estates. Hank “embraced” life at his assisted living apartment, enjoying visits with all the people, planting numerous flowers, painting and displaying all his new paintings, and playing pool with anyone who would join him.
Family was always very important to Hank. He enjoyed any time family members were able to get together for a “party”. Hank and Joyce enjoyed two trips to Denmark, along with numerous trips around the country to visit family. He served on the ASCS board, Weyerts Church Council, was an Elder and Sunday School Superintendent for Zion Lutheran Church in Chappell, along with many other positions. He was a member of the Sidney Art Guild for many years. Most recently he loved visiting Holy Trinity shut-ins and volunteering to make frequent visits to those on hospice. He was a very strong, gentle, kind-hearted man with a strong Christian faith. He never hesitated to share Bible verses or say prayers with others. He was a true servant of the Lord.
His surviving family includes daughter-in-law Laurie Jessen of Denver, Colorado; daughter Nancy (Eldon) Rowlett of Lodgepole, Nebraska; daughter Jane (Mike) Mardis of Lafayette, Colorado. Grandchildren include Leslie (Bernhard) Jessen-Zwingl of Vienna, Austria; grandson Paul Rowlett (Randee Schneider) of Omaha, Nebraska; grandson Keith (Elena) Rowlett of Heber City, Utah; Johanne Mardis and Grant Mardis of Lafayette, Colorado; and great granddaughter Callie Brown of Omaha, Nebraska.
Boy Henry Jessen