HARDY — Kenneth “Kenny” Wayne Jensby, 90, of rural Hardy died Tuesday, July 28, 2020, at his home, surrounded by his loving family.
Funeral services are 3 p.m. Saturday at Superior’s Evergreen Cemetery. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the ceremony will occur at the gravesite with interment following, led by grandson-in-law Rev. Nathan Sherrill. Please bring lawn chairs.
Visitation and viewing is 3-8 p.m. Friday with family present 6-8 p.m. and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday at Megrue-Price Funeral Home in Superior.
Kenneth “Kenny” Wayne Jensby, son of Leslie and Leona (Harling) Jensby, was born March 8, 1930, 2 miles north of Cadams. Kenny was baptized as an infant at Hardy’s Union Church and confirmed into the Catholic faith in 1950, prior to his marriage to Shirley Carlson on July 12. To this union, three daughters were born: Cynthia Kaye, Carla Jean and Christy Ann.
Kenny graduated from Hardy High School with the class of 1947. Two of his favorite teen memories were playing in the state Junior Legion Baseball Tournament and working for Jerome Kohl as part of his auto mechanics class. Kenny’s adult life was spent in the Hardy area.
Following graduation, Kenny worked on the road crew that built Highway 8 from Superior to Hardy. He began his farming career in 1950. In 1959 Kenny purchased the farm that he called home. After renting the Blaine Lyne farm for 69 years, Kenny had the opportunity to purchase the land across the highway from his homeplace in 2019. Kenny’s fellow area farmers demonstrated their respect for a lifetime of work by not bidding against him at auction time. Kenny cleared and leveled the land in order to erect his first-ever central pivot irrigation system. That was Kenny’s greatest farming accomplishment.
In 1962, Kenny supplemented his farm income by becoming a truck driver. He spent time on the road for Superior Transfer, Richard Meyer, Jones Land and Cattle Co. and Wray Wehrman. In 1975, Kenny sold land to Farmland to build a hog-buying station. That led to the purchase of his first semi and trailer. Eventually that business evolved into Jensby Trucking Inc. Kenny added reefers in order to haul cheese for Mid-America Dairymen from its Superior plant, as well as cattle trailers. At the height of hauling, Kenny had 24 rigs on the road. Personally, he drove more than 1 million miles while training and supervising his drivers. His favorite trip was to Rosalia, Kansas’ Flint Hills where friendships grew beyond the trucking industry. In 2020, Kenny celebrated the trucking line’s 45th year in operation, his shining accomplishment in business.
Kenny touched many lives throughout his farming-trucking career. When Kenny’s cancer diagnosis was made known this spring, many of his former workers returned to their boss to express their appreciation for his guidance in molding their adult work ethics. That touched Kenny beyond words.
Kenny still was active and feeding his own cattle until a few months before his death, demonstrating his own work ethic. Kenny was proud of the farming-trucking legacy he left behind and will be remembered for his great dry sense of humor. He loved his family in his own way, with a twinkle in his eye instead of the spoken word.
Survivors include his daughters, Cindy (Lonnie) Hedstrom of Courtland, Kansas, Carla Eitzmann (Gayle) of Superior and Christy (Kevin) Madsen of Kearney; eight grandchildren, Jason (Tara) Kuhlmann of Byron; Troy (Tricia) Kuhlmann of Superior; Kelly, Corey (friend Nikki Glodowski) and Kami Eitzmann (friends Ben & Raegan Burris), all of Superior; Aaron (Natalie) Madsen of Lincoln, Tina (Nathan) Sherrill of Council Bluffs, Iowa, and Trisha (Shane) Unick of Olathe, Kansas; five stepgrandchildren, Gabe (Robin) Hedstrom of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, Lance (Becca) Hedstrom of Formosa, Kansas, Lonisa (Josh) Melton of Belleville, Kansas, Landon Hedstrom of Prescott, Arizona, and LaShae (fiancé Drew Hoops) of Salina, Kansas; 24 great-grandchildren, Colton, Kayden and Kennedy Kuhlmann; Holden, Hattie and Harlow Kuhlmann; Kylie, Jaret and Luke Eitzmann; Carsyn Koenig; Hallie, Burke and Bodie Madsen; Isaac, Lydia, Jeremiah, Naomi, Joel, Jonathan and Isabella Sherrill; Maxsen, Maylee, Marek and Maddox Unick, as well as five stepgreat-grandchildren, Stella and Brooks Hedstrom and Rory, Vera and Sylvie Melton; sister, Donna Meyer of Ruskin; sister-in-law, LaGreta Jensby of Atkinson; nieces, nephews and their families. Kenny’s constant companion, a Morki named Missy, will be lost without her master.
Kenny was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Shirley on Aug. 24, 2011; brothers, Robert (and sister-in-law Dorothy) and Roy Leon and brother-in-law Orville Meyer.
After a severe farm accident in December 2012, Kenny credited health care workers at Brodstone Memorial Hospital in Superior, Bryan Medical Center in Lincoln and the American Red Cross for saving his life so he wanted to honor those through his memorials, as well as St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.