This doesn't really go with the flow of the blog today, but it's important. This weekend I found out that a colleague of mine from university passed away unexpectedly. Michael Jensen was only 29 years old. I didn't know Michael very well, but I wish I had. He was incredibly smart and kind. He had cerebral palsy but that didn't stop him from being one of the best debaters of politics at the U of C. He was an academic and we shared some of the same interests in political science. Michael was a passionate, active Liberal, something that takes a good deal of guts in Calgary. If you went to U of C you have probably met Michael, or you would at least recognize him.
I had the opportunity to talk to Michael briefly at the Liberal Convention last month. I've never run into him without him being happy and saying hello to me. I know a lot of people that were much closer to Michael than I was, and they must be devastated right now. It's still hard to believe that someone I am so used to seeing at university and political functions will no longer be there. If you did know Michael I encourage you to pass your condolences along to his family.
Michael A. Jensen, beloved son of Dorothy Dawe and Ian Jensen, passed away suddenly at the Rockyview General Hospital on Friday, January 12, 2007 at the age of 29 years.
Michael was born in Red Deer, AB on September 21, 1977. Although Michael became afflicted with cerebral palsy as an infant, he was ever determined to meet life's challenges head on. Always an honour student, in 1995 Michael was named a member of the Calgary Herald's Class Act upon his graduation from Ernest Manning High School. Michael went on to study at the University of Calgary, obtaining his Bachelor of Arts (with distinction) in 2000, and his Master of Arts in 2003. Michael's Masters Thesis, entitled "The Neoconservative Mind; the Legacy of Leo Strauss", was nominated for the Governor General's medal for academic excellence. At the time of his passing, Michael was completing his doctorate in Political Science at the University of Calgary. Michael was a talented writer and contributor to many publications, including the Calgary Herald, the University of Calgary Gauntlet Newspaper, FFWD Magazine, Ehgloo Magazine and the Canadian Journal of Political Science. Passionately interested in politics, Michael worked on numerous election campaigns as a policy advisor and was a member of the executive of the Calgary Nosehill constituency of the Federal Liberal Party of Canada. Michael was an equally passionate sports fan, particularly of hockey, baseball and curling. Michael's eternal optimism is perhaps best reflected by his devotion to his beloved Chicago Cubs, who haven't won the World Series since 1908. Known for his winning smile, his sometimes off-the-wall sense of humour, his generous nature and his gentle soul, Michael will be sadly missed by all who knew him.
Michael is survived by his loving parents, mother Dorothy Dawe (Barry Dommasch), father Ian (Joanne) Jensen; two sisters Natasha and Chelsea; his grandmother Rae Jensen and his aunts, uncles, cousins and many, many friends. He was predeceased by his grandparents Kai Jensen, G.H. (Harold) and Jean Dawe.
Those wishing to pay their respects may do so at McINNIS & HOLLOWAY'S Park Memorial Chapel (5008 Elbow Drive S.W.) on Monday, January 15, 2007 from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. If friends so desire, in lieu of flowers, memorial tributes may be made directly to the University of Calgary , 2500 University Drive N.W., Calgary, AB T2N 1N4 for a future scholarship in memory of Michael.
Funeral Services will be held at Woodcliff United Church (5010 Spruce Drive S.W.) on Tuesday, January 16, 2007 at 2:00 p.m. with the Rev. Robert W. Mutlow Presider. Graveside Service to follow at Red Deer Cemetery in Red Deer, AB on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 at 2:00 p.m. Forward condolences through www.mcinnisandholloway.com.
In living memory of Michael Jensen a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES Park Memorial Chapel, 5008 ELBOW DRIVE S.W. Telephone: (403) 243-8200.