Cover photo for Dean Norman Jensen's Obituary
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1938 Dean 2021

Dean Norman Jensen

October 9, 1938 — February 17, 2021

Dean Norman Jensen, 82, passed away peacefully surrounded by family on February 17, 2021. He is survived by his loving wife Rosemary, daughters Jennifer Loew (Phil Conrad), Jessica Maxwell (Michael) and son Dane. Further survived by grandsons Lucas, Kyle, Brendan, Emmett, granddaughter Elora, brother Jeff (Karen), sister-in-law Joanne, brother-in-law John Arakelian and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Ray and Ann Jensen and his brothers, Pete and Neal. Dean began his journalism career at several Wisconsin dailies before he joined the Milwaukee Sentinel in 1967. During his tenure at the newspaper he covered many assignments, eventually becoming the art critic. He won many writing awards. On loan from the newspaper, Dean curated an exhibit for the Milwaukee Art Museum titled “Center Ring: The Artist” which became the most popular exhibit at the time. In 1985 he won a yearlong fellowship to the University of Michigan. In 1987 Dean left the news world to open the Dean Jensen Art Gallery. It was originally located in the Third Ward and later relocated downtown where he continued to serve the art community for 30 years. He loved his time at the gallery and likened the experience of walking into his gallery daily to the religious experience of one walking into a cathedral. He loved the art milieu and the artists he served. Dean was also a successful author of three books, “The Biggest, the Smallest, the Longest, the Shortest;” The Lives and Loves of Violet and Daisy Hilton;” and “Queen of the Air: A True Story of Love and Tragedy at the Circus,” focusing on subjects from the worlds of the circus, carnivals and the vaudeville stage. His latest book, “Queen of the Air,” which celebrates the life of Lillian Lietzel, was optioned for a movie. He was a strong supporter of the Circus parade and the Circus World Museum. Dean will be buried at Holy Cross Cemetery. A celebration of his life will be held this summer. Dad, we love you forever.
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