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URBANA — Harold Leonard Jensen, 85, of Urbana passed away at 10:48 p.m. Monday (Nov. 4, 2019) at home surrounded by family.

A celebration and thanksgiving of life will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, at First Presbyterian Church of Urbana followed with family and friends gathering at Silvercreek Restaurant.

Harold was born in Chicago on Jan. 31, 1934, to parents Harold I. and Sophia Marie (Wilhelm) Jensen. They preceded him in death.

On June 22, 1956, he married Patricia E. Butler in Champaign; she survives. Also surviving are their children, Karl (Linda) Jensen of Delafield, Wis., Kristin (Rob Kimmel) Jensen of Florence, Mass., Eric Jensen of Louisville, Ky., and Therese (Chris) Jordan of Hamilton, Ohio. Grandchildren, Caroline (Brian Huff) Jordan, Kathleen Jordan, Matthew Jensen, Stefan Jensen, Sarah Jensen, Gib Jensen and Ben Kimmel; and great-grandchild, Ellowyn Huff, also survive him.

A retired circuit court judge of Champaign County (1975-1996, presiding 1988-1996), Harold Jensen served as a Lt. j.g. in the U.S. Navy on an LST (1955-57) in San Diego. He earned his law degree from the University of Illinois in 1963 and practiced law with the firm of Hatch, Corazza, Baker and Jensen from 1963-1975.

Harold also served as a member of the Champaign County Bar Association, the Supreme Court Rules Committee, adjunct professor for the UI College of Law, member of the Illinois Judicial Inquiry Board, member and chairman of the 4th District Character and Fitness Committee and as a member of the Capital Litigation Counsel Screening Panel.

Among many ways in which Harold expressed his dedication to his community, he was a member and president of the Urbana School Board and a member and president of the Urbana Free Library Foundation. With his wife, Pat, he served as honorary co-chair of the Citizens Committee for the restoration of the Champaign County Court House clock and bell tower, a project in which he took great pride.

A lover of history and science, Harold was an avid reader, and he cultivated an expansive personal library. He enjoyed travel and exploring both natural and historic locations and took his young family to just about every state in the country on fantastic multistate loop journeys, visiting national parks and historic landmarks. Many fun days were spent as a family in Busch Stadium and on Wisconsin ski slopes. Harold also loved his years umpiring Little League baseball games and playing softball.

Harold had a powerful love for his family and was blessed with a rich 63 years with his wife, Pat. They loved travelling together and shared many wonderful hiking trips and outdoor adventures, as well as Road Scholar outings, ranging in topic from marine biology to archeology, Normandy, baseball and astronomy.

Memorial contributions may be made in Harold’s honor to the Urbana Parks Foundation, 303 W. University Ave., Urbana, IL 61801 (attention Ellen Kirsanoff) or to the Urbana Free Library Foundation, 210 W. Green St., Urbana, IL 61801. Condolences may be offered at

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