John William Jepsen, 87, passed away on November 6 at his home in Ione, Oregon.
He was the son of Walter and Matilda (Burns) Jepsen. He was born in Heppner, Oregon, on March 21, 1931. He was the fourth child in a family of nine children. He attended and graduated from Ione High School in 1949. He was mischievous and sometimes led a few students on escapades. He worked for farmers in the area for a short time after he graduated.
He was inducted into the U.S. Army on January 7, 1953. He spent his basic training in San Luis Obispo, California. He requested overseas duty and was stationed in Germany for two years. While in Germany he traveled as much as he could, and on his leave time he visited his father’s family in Denmark. He loved the Army and had thoughts about an extension, but decided to come home and go to school on the G.I. Bill, so decided to be discharged on December 15, 1954.
He attended Oregon Technical Institute in Klamath Falls, Oregon. He took refrigeration for two years, and after graduation he came back home and worked for the local farmers. When he couldn’t find refrigeration work, he finally went to work for Harold Dobyns, who owned Dobyns Pest Control. After one year of training he offered to sell John the business, which he bought with the hopes that he could also purchase the house on the property, which he finally purchased in 1961.
In 1961 he met (Betty) Jean Gray. She was a hairdresser and worked for Lois Winchester in Heppner. They were married in 1962 in Ione. In April of 1964, they welcomed James (Jim) into their family. In 1970 they adopted Judy Marie to complete their family. John was supportive of the kid’s involvement in school, 4-H, and church activities. After the kids were grown, he decided to sell the business and the home to his son Jim and his wife Gina. John and Jean then purchased a smaller house and moved a little closer to Ione.
He was a charter member of the Ione Lions Club, Ione American Legion Post # 95, the Ione Community Church, and was also a member of the Pacific Northwest and Oregon Pest Control Associations. He served as a deacon for over 30 years. He enjoyed doing upkeep and grounds maintenance at the local churches, as well as the Legion Hall.
In the past several years he loved spending time with his grandchildren, and traveling with his wife, and assisting anyone in town that ever needed a little extra help.
John is survived by his wife Jean; his children Jim and Judy; his grandchildren David and Heather; his great-grandson Kian; and his siblings Betty Newton, Anna Larson, Frank Jepsen and Evelyn Elder. They are all the love of his life.
A memorial service will be held Tuesday, November 13, 2018, at 11 a.m. at the Ione Community Church. Burial with military honors will follow at High View Cemetery in Ione.
You may sign the online condolence book at www.sweeneymortuary.com.