Obituary of Peter Gayle Hamilton Jensen
Peter Gayle Hamilton Jensen (83) resident of St. Maries, ID passed away at his home on October 3, 2023. He was born to Harris and Marjory Jensen on July 10, 1940, in Hutchison City, MN. As a child, Pete spent time on a family member’s cattle ranch and farm, learning an appreciation of the outdoors and the environment around him. He later moved to Oakland, CA and while working as a mechanic and general helper at an aircraft sales company he graduated high school in 1958.
Following graduation, Pete enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps where he served as a Helicopter Mechanic and Crew Chief. He served 4 years including a tour of duty in Vietnam. After he was honorably discharged in 1962, Pete moved to Aptos, CA and attended Cabrillo Junior College. During this time, he owned, operated, maintained and repaired a TD 14 dozer and Case backhoe while working part time for various small construction companies operating equipment, driving truck and servicing equipment.
In 1964 Pete went to work as a Deputy Sheriff with Santa Cruz and El Dorado Counties, receiving certificates of recognition and acknowledgment for his exemplary performance in various Law Enforcement trainings. On May 29, 1968, he married Sharon Hillis in Carson City, NV. In December of 1968 he went to work for Contra Costa County as a Deputy Sheriff. Pete took an assignment at a Rehabilitation Center (farm) where he instructed inmates in agricultural programs, farming equipment operation, and maintenance. Pete enlisted in the US Coast Guard Reserves in 1981 serving as a Machinery Technician and Boatswain’s Mate. He was honorably discharged in 1987 and in 1989 he retired to the St. Maries, ID area.
Pete enjoyed tinkering on all things mechanical, using his ingenuity and creative skillset to repair and revitalize equipment. He spent time along the St. Joe River with family and friends, working on projects, exploring the backroads and enjoying photography. Pete was a member of the Master Gardeners, Camera Club, and St. Maries Elks Lodge. He proudly donated to organizations like “The Thin Green Line” which supports officers who guard and protect endangered animals from Poachers in Africa and the Oceanic Institute which is dedicated to preserving and protecting the oceans and marine life.
Pete is survived by his wife Sharon and his children Signe Jensen, Trina Jensen Crane and his son-in-law Chris Crane. At Pete’s request, there will be no services.