Richard E. Jensen

July 24, 1934March 5, 2018

Richard “Dick “E. Jensen, 83, of Lincoln, went to heaven on Monday, March 5, 2018. He was born on July 24, 1934, on a farm near St. Paul, to Carl Max & Georgia Ann (Trubl) Jensen. He had the “good fortune to meet Bess Mead and fell in love” and married on May 25, 1985. Their love of travel took them to Mexico, Panama Canal, Alaska and cruises in the Caribbean. He retired from the Nebraska State Historical Society as a senior research anthropologist in 2005. He published many articles, manuscripts, and books in his 35 years of service. His love of history was evident by him saying “if I was a millionaire I would have worked for the historical society for free”. Survived by wife Bess, brother-in-law Charles (Cheryl) Mead, sister-in-law Ida (Harry) Daniels, nieces, nephews, and many dear friends. Family to greet friends 6 to 7 pm with a rosary at 7 pm on Thursday, March 8, at St. Patrick's Catholic Church, 6111 Morrill Ave. in Lincoln. Mass of Christian Burial: 10:30 am Friday, March 9, at St. Patrick's. Interment: Lincoln Memorial Park. Memorials: Nebraska State Historical Society or Capital Humane Society in Lincoln. Lincoln Memorial Funeral Home. Condolences,


  • Jason Mead
  • Steve Devitt
  • Michael Good
  • Greg Good
  • David Good
  • Mark Hurt


  • Rosary Thursday, March 8, 2018
  • Mass Of Christian Burial Friday, March 9, 2018

Richard E. Jensen

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Lynne Ireland

March 8, 2018

Friends and family should know we at the Nebraska State Historical Society are grateful for Dick's many contributions to what we know about Nebraska history through his research and publications. Here’s some praise from historian Heather Cox Richardson of the University of Massachussetts-Amherst that we thought might be meaningful to you. In her introduction to the 2011 edition of "Eyewitness at Wounded Knee," the book Dick, John Carter, and Eli Paul jointly authored, she writes: “All attempts to understand what really happened at Wounded Knee start here.” “…Richard Jensen, [was] a Nebraska native who had trained as an archaeologist and ended up in the State Historic Preservation Office, clearing rights of way, working with highway engineers, and, as he later recalled, spending most of his time rather unhappily filling out forms." But after he was transferred to the research and publications division, "Like [Eli] Paul, Jensen had an unparalleled capacity for detailed research.” “Why did these men devote themselves to the tedium of chasing down every fact they could find about Wounded Knee? They wanted to get rid of misinformation and give people a better idea of what happened in Nebraska and South Dakota in 1890—to ‘keep the record straight,’ Jensen said. That’s what good historians do: ‘Keep it honest, keep it straight.’ Eyewitness at Wounded Knee is a model of meticulous history that redefines a critical event.” High praise from a colleague who did not know Dick personally but admired his work on Eyewitness and other books. His fine work is a lasting legacy and gift to all who are interested in Nebraska history.