OBITUARY

Roger William Jepsen

December 23, 1928November 13, 2020

Roger William Jepsen, former United States Senator from Iowa (1979-1985), died November 13, 2020 at Clarissa C. Cook Hospice Center in Bettendorf, Iowa.

Until recently Jepsen and his wife Dee had been residents of an independent-living retirement community in Venice, Florida. Due to advanced years and ill health they had moved back to Iowa to be near family.

Jepsen was born in 1928 and raised on the family farm near Cedar Falls, Iowa. He had many fond memories of those days and expressed his appreciation for having been raised in rural Iowa and for the strong work ethic it developed. He also held a deep appreciation for his family and his Danish heritage. His grandfather Jess Jepsen had worked aboard a ship to emigrate from Denmark to the United States. Jess then worked to bring his Danish relatives to the U.S. Jess, a devout Christian, then traveled throughout the Midwest on horseback and chose to settle and farm the land that became Roger’s birth place. Roger cherished his personal family heritage and our nation, the United States, which continues to draw people from all over the world.

Jepsen attended local schools, and the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls. He served in the U.S. Army as a paratrooper and in the Army Reserve. Having graduated from Arizona State University, in Tempe, Arizona with Bachelors and Masters Degrees, he served on the University staff there. After college Jepsen worked in the insurance industry, serving as a general manager Connecticut General.

Jepsen moved to Davenport, Iowa, for business purposes where he met and married Dee Delaney in 1958.

Always patriotic and interested in government Jepsen got involved in local politics. He then was elected as a Scott County Supervisor, an Iowa State Senator, and Lt. Governor of Iowa where he served two terms. In 1971-72 Jepsen served as National Chairman of the Lt. Governors’ Association. When leaving office in 1973 Jepsen worked on several business ventures until he entered the race for Iowa’s United States Senator. Wining that office in 1978 the Jepsens moved to the Washington, DC area. While in the Senate he chaired the Joint Economic Committee (JEC) of Congress and was also a Member of the Armed Services Committee, where he was Subcommittee Chairman of Armed Services Manpower and Personnel. In addition, he served on the Agriculture Committee, where he was Subcommittee Chairman of Soil Conservation. As Chairman of JEC he conducted economic planning meetings throughout the United States and Europe. On two occasions President Reagan named Senator Jepsen as Special Representative of the President of the United States (to Madagascar in 1985 and to the State of Israel on the occasion of the funeral of Moshe Dayan).

After leaving the U. S. Senate, Senator Jepsen continued to be involved in numerous public service positions. He was appointed by President Reagan to serve as Chairman of the National Credit Union Administration Board (1985-1993), overseeing 9,400 federal credit unions and 4,900 state chartered credit unions, and he also served as Chairman of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (1987-1989).

A graduate of the Program for Senior Managers in Government, Harvard University, Senator Jepsen was active as educator and businessman. Among his publications is Reagan, Stockman, and Supply-side Economics.

Jepsen was proceeded in death by his daughter Linda and his brother Myron. He is survived not only by his wife of 62 years, Dee, Eldridge, Iowa, but also by a sister Carol Nymann, George Town, Texas; sons Jeffrey, Annandale, Virginia; Craig (Pat), Long Grove, Iowa; Coy (Alicia), St. Cloud, Minnesota. And daughters Ann Carruthers and Debbie Geisler, Davenport, Iowa.

Jepsen and his wife Dee have not only these five living children, they also have nine grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. “Grandpa” enjoyed playing cribbage with his grandchildren. The Jepsens considered their large family a great blessing.

A private family service will be held on Thursday, November 19, at the Runge Mortuary. Jepsen will be buried at Memorial Park Cemetery with Military Honors in Davenport, Iowa. The family is planning a Celebration of Life at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Honor Flight of the Quad-Cities.

  • FAMILY

  • Ernest Jepsen, Father (deceased)
  • Esther (Sorensen) Jepsen, Mother (deceased)
  • Dee (Delaney) Jepsen, Wife
  • Jeffrey Jepsen, Son
  • Craig Jepsen (Pat), Son
  • Coy Jepsen (Alicia), Son
  • Ann Carruthers, Daughter
  • Debbie Geisler, Daughter
  • Carol Nymann, Sister
  • Also left to cherish his memory are nine grandchildren and sixteen great grandchildren.


    He was also preceded in death by his daughter, Linda, and his brother, Myron.
  • DONATIONS

  • Honor Flight of the Quad Cities

Services

  • Private Funeral Service

Memories

Roger William Jepsen

have a memory or condolence to add?

ADD A MEMORY
WILLIAM KAISER

January 20, 2021

JEPSEN FAMILY,
ALTHOUGH, NOT INVOLVED IN POLITICS, I RECEIVED A NICE LETTER FROM SENATOR JEPSEN BACK IN 1984 FOR MY SELECTION TO IOWA BOYS STATE WHEN I LIVED IN BELLE PLAINE.
I THOUGHT A NICE GESTURE FROM MR JEPSEN, AND HAVE THE LETTER FRAMED IN MY HOME.

SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS,

WILLIAM KAISER

Barbara Hollingsworth

November 21, 2020

I was so very sorry to hear about Senator Jepsen’s passing. I had the good fortune to be on the Senator’s staff when he and Dee first arrived in DC. Both were so kind to this 20 something year old Iowa farm girl. I cherish those heady days and the times thereafter when I crossed paths with the Jepsens. The most recent being about 8 years ago when travel to Florida for work included a stay at their lovely home. What a great time we had reminiscing. My deepest sympathies to Dee and all of the Senator’s loved ones. May you find comfort in knowing that the Senator will not be forgotten and that he played a role in shaping my life and lives of so many others.

Jill Kaiser-Fugman

November 21, 2020

Believe it or not, our family has been thinking so much of yours recently. I am living in Texas now. FINALLY! A red state after a lifetime of blue ones! When I was kid, I came to events to support Roger's Senate campaign in Iowa. In DC I spent a bit of respite time with Linda at the apartment. The farm in West Virginia was an amazing place to see political figures living in humble grace. With that Pandy dog barking at cows. When I grew to be an obstreperous teen (which was inevitable, really) Roger and Dee visited my parents Kay and Nancy Kaiser in Belgium. We did a totally family-style tour of some of the European countries! I will never forget that time in Denmark (where Roger was trying to trace his roots) when he wanted iced tea and after many, many, many minutes...the owner came back and said, "We are freezing your tea, sir." (Dee will get it.) And the Danish toilet paper. Not so Charmin'. And the family reunion of every Jepsen/Jepson in town that just happened to be happening and they all wanted to claim him as their own!
I'm so sorry for your loss. Roger was a man of few words, in my recollection, but of deep wisdom. He served in the Senate in the time of many of the greats in an era I feel we might never see again...and he gave people candy from his desk. And this, I love...since candy is dear to my own heart. I did not know about him having the candy desk until after our family had mostly parted from yours. It made me laugh! Because I really LOVE candy! I hope that God is comforting you now. There's a giant party in heaven taking place with those we have lost! There's candy. And Pandy! And peace.

With all of our family's love,

Jill Kaiser-Fugman

Amy Hiler Driskill

November 19, 2020

Roger and my father, Douglas Hiler, became friends during their time at Connecticut General in Davenport. My mother, Edie, and our family extend our deepest sympathy to Dee and family. My father always spoke highly of Roger and remembered with great fondness their friendship until my Dad's passing in 2012.

With Sympathy,

Amy Hiler Driskill

Rex Wittrock

November 17, 2020

As a young college student I served as a summer intern for Senator Jepsen in 1980. I'm so grateful to the Senator and his staff for providing me such a great opportunity! He was always willing to share with interns on his walks to the capital for votes and committee meetings. Since then I made a career of public service working in Iowa for 34 years with the USDA Farm Service Agency. My condolences to all the Jepsen family.

Jill Delaney

November 17, 2020

The best brother-in-law law!
Always sharing a laugh & concerned about family matters ,
a devoted family man.

Christine Hansen

November 17, 2020

Roger was a dedicated public servant -- dedicated to Scott County, to Iowa and to his country.
As Iowa's Lieutenant Governor, he presided over the state Senate with an even hand and a focus on fostering positive policies for the state. He worked to keep senators moving toward goals and away from unbending stances. Roger carried those collaborative skills to the U.S. Senate where he always remembered he was serving Iowans. Though a conservative Republican, Roger frequently worked across party lines and philosophies to find common ground.
I first met him as an intern at the Davenport Times Democrat and covered him as a political reporter when he was Lieutenant Governor. He brought me to his U.S. Senate staff as press secretary where it was an honor to serve him. Upon leaving his staff returning to Iowa, a Des Moines Register reporter asked me to give him some of the "real dirt" from Roger's office. I mailed him a scoop of potting soil from an officer plant -- the only dirt in that office.

Bill Finerfrock

November 17, 2020

Thoughts and prayers to Dee and the rest of the Jepsen family. Senator Jepsen was a smart, generous, kind and caring individual who took an interest in you as a person. He made a lasting impact on many and his contributions to the betterment of this country will be part of his enduring legacy. I had the opportunity to travel all over Iowa with Senator Jepsen and got to meet and work with some of the best people I've ever known. I will never forget flying with Senator Jepsen (he was the pilot) from Des Moines to Cedar Rapids in a small, single engine Cessna Cardinal. As I looked out the window , mesmerized by the scattered lights below, I asked the Senator what town was off in the distance. No response. I asked again, louder this time, thinking he couldn't hear me over the sound of the plane's engine. Again, no answer. I turned to look at the Senator, only to discover his head down with his chin on his chest. I listened closely and could hear him breathing - he was asleep. First crisis avoided. Not being familiar with how planes flew, I was convinced we were just flying directionless. I wasn't worried about any mountains up ahead and we were certainly high enough that no man-made objects would be in our way. But where were we headed? Were we off track and if so, how to get us back on track? My first thought - don't touch anything. I decided to talk calmly but loudly in hopes that I might rise him from his sleep. After a few minutes (which seemed like hours), he began to stir and rejoin the land of the woke. He asked what was wrong and I told him I was just a bit concerned that he'd fallen asleep and we might be off course. He laughed and said no worries, he'd neglected to tell me he put the plane on autopilot before closing his eyes. Needless to say, we landed safely in Cedar Rapids not long after he awoke. Rest in peace, RWJ!

Todd Blodgett

November 16, 2020

Roger Jepsen wasn't only a dedicated public servant on EVERY level - local, county, state, and federal gov't; he was also a genuinely kind man and a sincere follower of Christ. Having first met him in 1978, during his first campaign for the U.S. Senate, and worked for him on his Capitol Hill staff, and on his 1984 re-election campaign, I got to know this good and godly man extremely well. Our decades-long friendship continued long after his service in the Reagan and Bush administrations; he frequently would stay, as a most welcome guest, at the home (in Virginia) where I and my ex-wife lived.

He and Mrs. Jepsen also hosted my parents at their Florida home, and while he was in office, Roger and Dee stayed, twice, at my parents' lake cottage on Clear Lake.

In recent years, I'd call him for his Birthday, which will be in less than six weeks from now. While I'll have to wait until my earthly life has ended to see Mr. Jepsen again, I - like so many, many others - am very grateful for all he did for me during his earthly life. Roger Jepsen was a VERY loyal and truly caring friend, and a devout servant of our Lord.

If more people would live THEIR lives as Roger Jepsen lived HIS, this old world would be a much, much better place. May Senator Jepsen now Rest in Peace. Well done, faithful servant.

With great memories of a wonderful man,


TODD BLODGETT

Clear Lake, Iowa

Bruce Bartlett

November 16, 2020

If Dee sees this, I want her to know I eventually married that girl we had dinner with back in 1981.

FROM THE FAMILY

Forever In Our Hearts

Biography

Roger William Jepsen, former United States Senator from Iowa (1979-1985), died November 13, 2020 at Clarissa C. Cook Hospice Center in Bettendorf, Iowa. Until recently Jepsen and his wife Dee had been residents of an independent-living retirement community in Venice, Florida. Due to advanced years and ill health they had moved back to Iowa to be near family. Jepsen was born in 1928 and raised on the family farm near Cedar Falls, Iowa. He had many fond memories of those days and expressed his appreciation for having been raised in rural Iowa and for the strong work ethic it developed. He also held a deep appreciation for his family and his Danish heritage. His grandfather Jess Jepsen had worked aboard a ship to emigrate from Denmark to the United States. Jess then worked to bring his Danish relatives to the U.S. Jess, a devout Christian, then traveled throughout the Midwest on horseback and chose to settle and farm the land that became Roger’s birth place. Roger cherished his personal family heritage and our nation, the United States, which continues to draw people from all over the world. Jepsen attended local schools, and the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls. He served in the U.S. Army as a paratrooper and in the Army Reserve. Having graduated from Arizona State University, in Tempe, Arizona with Bachelors and Masters Degrees, he served on the University staff there. After college Jepsen worked in the insurance industry, serving as a general manager Connecticut General. Jepsen moved to Davenport, Iowa, for business purposes where he met and married Dee Delaney in 1958. Always patriotic and interested in government Jepsen got involved in local politics. He then was elected as a Scott County Supervisor, an Iowa State Senator, and Lt. Governor of Iowa where he served two terms. In 1971-72 Jepsen served as National Chairman of the Lt. Governors’ Association. When leaving office in 1973 Jepsen worked on several business ventures until he entered the race for Iowa’s United States Senator. Wining that office in 1978 the Jepsens moved to the Washington, DC area. While in the Senate he chaired the Joint Economic Committee (JEC) of Congress and was also a Member of the Armed Services Committee, where he was Subcommittee Chairman of Armed Services Manpower and Personnel. In addition, he served on the Agriculture Committee, where he was Subcommittee Chairman of Soil Conservation. As Chairman of JEC he conducted economic planning meetings throughout the United States and Europe. On two occasions President Reagan named Senator Jepsen as Special Representative of the President of the United States (to Madagascar in 1985 and to the State of Israel on the occasion of the funeral of Moshe Dayan). After leaving the U. S. Senate, Senator Jepsen continued to be involved in numerous public service positions. He was appointed by President Reagan to serve as Chairman of the National Credit Union Administration Board (1985-1993), overseeing 9,400 federal credit unions and 4,900 state chartered credit unions, and he also served as Chairman of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (1987-1989). A graduate of the Program for Senior Managers in Government, Harvard University, Senator Jepsen was active as educator and businessman. Among his publications is Reagan, Stockman, and Supply-side Economics. Jepsen was proceeded in death by his daughter Linda and his brother Myron. He is survived not only by his wife of 62 years, Dee, Eldridge, Iowa, but also by a sister Carol Nymann, George Town, Texas; sons Jeffrey, Annandale, Virginia; Craig (Pat), Long Grove, Iowa; Coy (Alicia), St. Cloud, Minnesota. And daughters Ann Carruthers and Debbie Geisler, Davenport, Iowa. Jepsen and his wife Dee have not only these five living children, they also have nine grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. “Grandpa” enjoyed playing cribbage with his grandchildren. The Jepsens considered their large family a great blessing. A private family service will be held on Thursday, November 19, at the Runge Mortuary. Jepsen will be buried at Memorial Park Cemetery with Military Honors in Davenport, Iowa. The family is planning a Celebration of Life at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Honor Flight of the Quad-Cities.