Charles A. “Chuck” Jensen passed away November 17, 2020 in Grand Island, NE. A memorial service will be held at Apfel Funeral Home at 2 pm on Thursday, December 10, 2020.
He was born on April 30, 1933 in Pawnee City, NE to Julius Jensen and Inez (Johnson) Jensen. While growing up in Pawnee City, Chuck enjoyed helping out at the Jensen Mercantile Company, a store owned by his father and uncle, Nelson Jensen. As a young boy he showed great interest in sports. His parents soon began driving him to Beatrice for golf lessons. In high school Chuck was a three-year starter in football and basketball. As a senior he was first team Class B All-State in both sports and also qualified twice for the Nebraska state track meet.
After high school, Chuck attended the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, He was one of the top players on the golf team along with Herb Mayer and Jack Moore of Grand Island. Chuck was also a catcher on the Nebraska baseball team.
In 1962, Chuck moved to California to start his teaching and coaching career. He was an English teacher, golf coach and basketball coach at Reedley High School in Reedley, CA. As head basketball coach at Reedley, Chuck became known as one of the most successful coaches in San Joaquin Valley. During his years as head coach, his teams won eight league championships and finished second twice. His teams made the Valley finals four times and won the Valley title in 1965 and 1966. Chuck was the first coach to be inducted into the Reedley Hall of Fame in 2019. They are going to rename the basketball court “Chuck Jensen Court”. He wanted his players to be the best they could be, so in the summers he would travel to basketball shooting camps that were taught by Oscar Robertson, Rick Barry and others.
Once retired from teaching, coaching and broadcasting, Chuck moved to Grand Island. One of the first things he did was join Riverside Golf Club where he would practice in the morning, play 18 holes, have lunch, play 18 more holes and then practice some more, well into the evening. He also worked with many, many young golfers on their game. He really never stopped coaching and teaching. He also taught basketball shooting camps in Nebraska as well as working with youngsters at the YMCA or their driveway. If someone wanted to learn, Chuck was there to teach.
Chuck was a very humble man and a true gentleman, with many friends. Always kind to everyone.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Julius and Inez Jensen and his 4-legged friend, George.
Memorials may be sent to he Central Nebraska Humane Society.
Online condolences may be sent at www.apfelfuneralhome.com.