John Craig “Banjo” Jensen

John Craig “Banjo” Jensen, 79, of Lyman, passed away peacefully on Friday, June 7, from complications with Parkinson’s disease.

Craig was born May 16, 1940, in Lyman, to Thorvald Arthur and Leah Viola Wilson Jensen. He grew up in Lyman, where he graduated from Lyman High School in 1958 in a class of seven students.

Craig served in the Army on two separate occasions. In 1958, he served for two years in upstate New York as an ammunition storage specialist. He was called back into the Army in 1961 and served for nine months in Texas.

On Dec. 18, 1965, he married Judy Rae Green in Lyman. They were blessed with twin daughters, Lori and Lisa. Craig and Judy made their home in Lyman. 

Craig attended college at Western Wyoming Community College and took courses in mechanics and welding. Craig did an ironworker’s apprenticeship in Rock Springs. He worked for Hughes Tool Company as a field salesman before getting a job at FMC.  He quit FMC and became an ironworker as part of Ironworkers Local Union 27. In the early ’80s, he started his own welding business called Banjo’s Welding. He eventually went back to FMC. He retired from FMC in 2002.

Craig was a man of many hobbies and interests. When he was younger, he was proud of his water-skiing abilities and being able to slalom ski. He liked to go fishing at Flaming Gorge and Fontenelle Reservoir. He was a gun enthusiast. He liked to trap shoot, collect guns, trade guns and reload his own shells. He spent many hours hunting sage chickens, antelope, deer and elk.

He loved the outdoors and riding snow machines, motorcycles, and camping took up many weekends. He liked to cook chicken and potatoes in his Dutch ovens, either in the mountains or in his backyard. He also had a strong passion for cars; at last count he had had more than 50 vehicles throughout his life. His motto was “The faster, the better.”

He had a love for animals and there was never a time when he didn’t have a dog. His pride was his mule, Leon John. He spent many hours on horseback riding through the desert or up to TA for breakfast. He also had many goats throughout the years.

He was a past member of the Lions Club, the American Legion and NCHA (National Campers and Hikers Association).

Craig leaves behind his daughters, Lori Jensen of Mountain View, and Lisa Jensen of Lyman; his sisters-in-law, Gloria Jensen of Lyman, and Sharon Jensen of Mountain View; and numerous nieces and nephews.

His wife, Judy; twin sons, Flint and Florn; his mother and father; his brothers, Udell, Sherman, Rodney and Allen; and sister, Eileen, preceded him in death.

Graveside services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, June 12, at the Fort Bridger Cemetery.  

Craig’s family would like to thank their friends and family for all the love and support they showed, along with the visits, phone calls and all the meals that were brought into the home. Also, the family wants to thank Kaylee Lyman at Best Home Health, who helped Craig start his day for the last two years.


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