On Wednesday, August 26, Richard Jensen passed away at the age of 76 after an eight-month battle with cancer. Rich was born on May 18, 1944 in Brooklyn, NY. Shortly thereafter his family moved to Glenrock, NJ. Rich earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), graduating in 1966. While at RPI he was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity, where he made many lifelong friends. Subsequently he earned an MBA from the University of Connecticut, graduating in 1971. He married Patricia Pollock on August 13, 1966 in Troy, NY. They recently celebrated their 54th wedding anniversary. Rich is also the father of two sons, Mathew and Glenn. Through Mathew and Glenn, Rich was the happy grandfather of five grandchildren: Robbie and Meggie, and Phoebe, Chloe, and Morgan. Outside of work and family he was also a life-long hobbyist. His interests were airplanes and trains, and he had an encyclopedic knowledge of each. Rich considered himself a life-long engineer, and it showed in his work. After RPI he worked at Pratt & Whitney in their industrial engineering department. Unfortunately, the field of aerospace was unpredictable at the time. This wasn’t a great situation for a growing family. With a heavy heart he said goodbye to aerospace and found a stable software engineering role at Aetna, working there until his retirement in 2011. He was a busy man outside of work and in retirement. For six years he was the troop leader for Cub Scout Pack 144, which held pack meetings at the Keeney St School in Manchester, CT. He was a PTA leader for four years. As a hobbyist he was prolific and meticulous in building amazing small-scale airplanes and creating landscapes for his 1950’s era Lionel trains. From 2012 onward he volunteered at the New England Air Museum (NEAM). He was a dedicated docent, putting to good use his exhaustive aerospace knowledge. He was thrilled to be around planes, thoroughly enjoyed all of the wonderful people at NEAM and the fascinating museum visitors from around the world. Occasionally, and to his great delight, he would meet someone touring NEAM who had actually flown one of those wonderful old planes.
Rich is the last to pass of his immediate family from childhood. He is preceded by his father John, mother Frances Cosgrove, brother John, and sister Ida. A closed funeral service is being held on Friday, September 4th. In lieu of flowers or cards, please consider a donation to NEAM - the New England Air Museum. To sign an online guestbook visit www.manchesterfh.com
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