Jess Clifton Hensley, 91 years old, passed away on Tuesday, July 24, 2012, at Westview Health Care Center, in Sheridan, Wyoming. He was born on October 5, 1920, in Greybull, Wyoming to Clifton and Laura (Sheldon) Hensley. The family moved to Sheridan in 1925. In 1931 his mother passed away leaving Jess to be raised by his father and older sister, Ruth. Jess attended McCormick School near Story, WY for two years and then completed his education in Sheridan. He graduated from Sheridan High School in 1938. While in high school he played basketball in the traveling basketball league. Jess’s first job out of high school was with the Sheridan Wyoming Coal Company. He also worked for Nash Finch as a warehouseman and at the Acme Power Plant.
Jess joined the Army Air Force in 1942 and was stationed in England as a member of the bomber division of the Eighth Army Air Force until the end of World War II. After the war he returned home to Sheridan where he worked for the C B & Q Railroad and then Big Horn Coal. Jess and some friends decided to look for jobs on the west coast and they landed in Oregon. Jess got a job with the Bureau of Reclamation in Oak Ridge, Oregon, building a dam on the Willamette River.
He returned to Sheridan in 1947. On January 2, 1948, he began his employment with Vickere Lumber Company, which would last for over 40 years. At this time he also started a lifelong relationship with the love of his life Norma Jean Runge. They were then married on June 13, 1948, in Sheridan and were happily married for fifty six years. They started a family and raised four children; Cheri, Dale, Mary and Scott. The love he had for his family can be seen in the many items he built for them in his woodworking shop.
Along with his passion for his family and woodworking Jess enjoyed playing golf, bowling, playing cards, reading and spending time with members of the coffee club. He was a life member of the Country Club, life member of the Elks and a member of the Kalif Shrine.
Jess is survived by his daughters, Cheri (David) Moon - Sundance, WY, Mary (Gary) Mentock – Sheridan, WY his son, Scott Hensley – Sheridan WY, three granddaughters, five great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. He is proceeded in death by his wife, a son Dale, his parents, and his sister.
Memorials may benefit Friends of the Library or St Peters Episcopal Church.
Funeral service will be 10:00am on Saturday (July 28th ) from Champion Ferries Funeral Home with Father John Meyer officiating. Interment will be in the Elks section of Sheridan Municipal Cemetery with military honors by the Wyo. National Guard and the American Legion Post #7. Arrangements are with Champion Ferries Funeral Home.