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Jeff Jessen

February 14, 2011

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Funeral Services for Jeff Jessen, 53 of Parker, Colorado, will be 10:00 a.m., Friday, February 18, 2011 at Living Word Fellowship, in Dickinson with Pastor Tim Voth, officiating. Jeff passed away February 14, 2011 in Parker, CO. Jeffrey Bruce Jessen was born in Beach, ND on February 11th, 1958 the son of LaVern and Donelda (Hovdestad) Jessen. Jeff spent his youth in Dickinson graduating from Dickinson High School and Dickinson State College. From an early age Jeff?s passion was golf. It could be said that Jeff grew up on the old 9 hole Dickinson golf course as he spent countless hours there honing his craft. At the age of 16 Jeff won the North Dakota State Junior tournament and went on to win many high school, college, club and local tournaments. Jeff was a hard charging achiever who was extremely driven and focused. He started as a staff accountant and rose to CEO of API Group, a conglomerate of companies built through acquisitions, most of which were led by Jeff. Early on while working at API, Jeff met Becky Birrenkott and, after dating for several years, they were married on December 22, 1984. Jeff has been known to say, “Becky is quiet but that’s ok because I talk enough for 2 people.” Jeff was a hard charger but Becky has been a rock and cornerstone of Jeff’s family. Jeff both loved and admired Becky for her determination, persistence, and ability to keep the family moving forward when times were difficult. Jeff was also CEO of his extended family. His brothers often sought him out for advice and he always followed up with words of encouragement and support. Jeff was always in charge of any event or situation he was a part of. It was simply his nature. While golf was his passion of youth, his own family was his adulthood passion. Jeff?s focus changed immediately when their first child arrived. Emily came ready to take charge like her father and most certainly did. He was completely enamored with “Emily America”, his little princess. She was the apple of his eye. Life got even better when Jared arrived. Jared was the spitting image of Jeff and was immediately photographed in the tiny Beach Buccaneers basketball uniform in which Jeff was photographed as an infant. Only the age of the photo hinted at which one was Jared and which was Jeff. Jeff and Jared spent hours together building and tinkering with whatever intricate and elaborate toys or collectibles Jared was into at the time. Seldom was there a family visit where Jared wasn’t sending Jeff off for batteries or seeking his father’s help in repairing some tiny part of one of his contraptions. Jeff was equally enamored with his “tinkerer” He was a kind and generous soul and often went out of his way to support friends, family and even strangers. He had a love for nature and animals and spent countless hours and dollars preserving wildlife around his home. Jeff never sat still and was always on the go. From the moment he woke up in the morning to the moment he went to bed, not a minute was wasted. Jeff?s life ended too early but he crammed more into his 53 years than most do in 100. Jeff was always making “forward progress”, as he would say, and that’s exactly what he would want all of us to do. He would want us to make forward progress by charging forward with our lives. Jeff is survived by his wife, Becky of Parker, CO; one daughter, Emily Jessen of Parker, CO; one son, Jared Jessen; parents, LaVern and Donelda Jessen, of Dickinson, three brothers, Jim Jessen of Minot, Jay (Jane) Jessen of Redmond, WA and John Jessen of Bismarck; two nephews, Jakob Jessen and James Jessen and three nieces, Amber Jessen, Kelli Jessen and Abby Jessen. He was preceded in death by his maternal grandparents Joe Hovdestad, Ellen (Jonason) Hovdestad Collins and Albert Collins; and paternal grandparents Reuben and Christine (Neve) Jessen. Rather than flowers, please send memorials to the Dickinson State University Foundation to establish the Jeff Jessen Golf Scholarship.

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