Jim Kensley (65) of Blanding, UT died January 24, 2018. He was born June 10, 1952 in Monticello, UT (30 seconds after his twin brother, George) to Francis Ailene Poeling and William Irvine Kensley.
As he grew up, he moved between Monticello, California, and Oregon, but he spent his summers at Marge and Harry Sturgeon’s VY Ranch on Peter’s Hill.
At the age of 14, Jim was badly burned. He spent two months in the hospital receiving treatment for burns covering 300 square inches of his body. He made a complete recovery, which was very surprising to those who had seen his obituary in the local paper.
After graduating from Dayton High School in Dayton, OR in 1970, Jim joined the United States Air Force, where he served in the Air Force Security Police. He was sent to Vietnam and served there until he was injured.
After recovering, he was stationed at Minot Air Force Base. When his enlistment was up, he returned to Monticello to work with his twin brother and Uncle Harry on the ranch.
Jim also worked various other jobs, including Emergency Medical Technician, as well as a fire fighter for San Juan County and the State of Utah.
Jim married Debra Lynn Cressler on June 16, 1979. They were later divorced.
Jim joined the Utah Army National Guard and served with the 1457th Engineering Battalion. They were activated to serve in Germany on January 28, 1991 during Desert Storm.
Jim married Amy Watkins on January 14, 1991, and their son, Michael, was born shortly after his father returned from Desert Storm. This marriage also ended in divorce.
Jim’s military service took its toll on his health and at the time of his death, he was completely bedfast. His son, Michael, was his primary caretaker.
Jim was never happier than when he could help someone else, especially if that involved righting a wrong.
Jim is survived by a son, Michael Ivan Kensley, of Monument Valley, UT; brother John Saltzman; nephews Chris and Cameron, and families; and niece, Christy, and family; as well as many friends he considered family as well.
A memorial service will be held to remember Jim on March 17, 2018. This will be held at 10 a.m. at the Utah National Guard Armory at 10 West Freedom Boulevard in Blanding, UT.
The family would like to give those attending the opportunity to share stories and memories of Jim if they desire to do so.
Card of thanks
The family would like to thank the Blanding Fire Department, the Blanding Police Department, the Blanding Emergency Medical Services, and Blue Mountain Hospital for their service and compassion during this difficult time.
We would also like to thank the entire City of Blanding and the San Juan School District for the love and support we have been shown.
Amy & Michael Kensley