Support Us

Ute Jensen

IMPORTANT: This Memorial is in draft mode. To complete, change the memorial status from "draft" to "publish".

Ute Jensen

Place of birth: Frohnau, Germany

Religious affiliation: Protestant

Ute Jensen, beloved wife of Harley Jensen; mother of Kirsten Foster (William), Dirk Westervelt (Martina Exnerova), Kristen Jensen (Allen Carr), Karen Johnson (Berkeley), and Erik Jensen; sister of Sigrun Quester (Armin) and Monika Pech (Fritz); aunt of Constance Hood (Charles), Axel (Irmela) and Wulf (Tomoe) Quester, and Christian and Barbara Pech; grandmother to Chandler, Ian, Annika, Nicholas, Sam, Ella, Cooper, Zoe, Sophie, Harley and Jake, passed away on June 20, 2016.

Ute was born in Frohnau, a suburb of Berlin, Germany, on May 23, 1939, the middle daughter of Kurt and Liddy Voelcker. Having lost their father during the war, Ute and her two sisters were raised by their intrepid mother, who passed an abiding sense of adventure to all her girls—but perhaps especially the middle one.
 
This became apparent in 1957. Eighteen-year-old Ute, by then an apprentice film editor at the UFA Studios in Berlin, decided to move to Elmira, New York, to marry a young American, Bill Westervelt, an Experiment in International Living group leader who had been housed with her family that summer. Painfully shy and speaking almost no English when she arrived in the States that fall, Ute nevertheless embraced her new American family and its traditions (she especially loved Thanksgiving) and would make this country her home for the next 59 years.

Ute and Bill returned to Germany and other parts of Europe every summer and maintained close ties with her extended family there. In 1959 they moved to Southern California—first to Los Angeles, where Bill completed his education and Kirsten was born, then to San Diego, where they had Dirk and lived for the better part of the next 20 years (with sabbatical stints in Salt Lake City, Heidelberg, and the Bay Area). 

Ute and Bill divorced in 1980, and in 1982 Ute moved to Berkeley to be with her beloved Harley. Berkeley reminded her of Frohnau, the place of her childhood; after 25 years of restless adventure, she finally felt truly home. She began her long, successful career as a travel agent at Andersen Travel on Bancroft Way, later teaming up with her close friends and colleagues Kathie Altes and Erika St. John to form their own agency. They have remained in business to this day, and Ute never retired.

When not traveling the planet to visit far-flung loved ones and to explore places old and new, Ute and Harley enjoyed the beauty of their second home at The Sea Ranch. Together they hosted, with never-waning warmth and style, their friends and family from around the world. 

Those she loved were everything to Ute and became everything to each other: a tight-knit blended family. The erstwhile shy Fräulein from Berlin–beautiful, creative, and immensely generous–wound up nurturing bonds that spanned the globe, from Singapore to Seattle, the Czech Republic to California, and points near and far between. The widespread net she spun with her fierce love and concern for so many will be her lasting testament. 

Funeral Notice Detail

There will be a reception following the service. Please RSVP to hjensen5855@comcast.net. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontiers) or your favorite charity in Ute's honor. 

A Memorial Service will be held at

St. Clement's Episcopal Church

2837 Claremont Boulevard

Berkeley , CA 94705

On: Jul 28, 2016 — At: 11:00 AM

7 Responses

  • Rodger Hogan On

    What a heartbreak to lose Ute. Ute always reminded me of my dear Dutch aunts who valued laughter, kindness and hospitality. Ute was and, in my mind, still is a beautiful, kind, warm individual. My family was blessed by the interactions we had with her. May God bless her and the loved ones she left behind. Rodger Hogan

  • Halina Avery On

    Liebe Ute. Beautiful, welcoming, loving, Ute. You have been a part of my life as long as I can remember. I cannot believe I am not going to see you for coffee or dinner this coming month and share all of our lives' news and hear about your most recent travels and plans for your next trip. I so admire and am so happy for how you have lived your life. I might have never known the challenges you faced, as we all do in life, not because you were ever closed off, just because you had such a balanced, "go forward" spirit. I hope you and Krista are having a glass of wine together and catching up in some wonderful next iteration. We love you.

  • Carole Kefer On

    We are in shock! Currently, we are sitting on our deck at Tahoe and received this post letting us know of your loss. Without details we have only our memory of our fun dinner together after picking you up at Bart. this is just unbelievable to us. Please know our thoughts and love are with you during this difficult time. We will be at the service. Love, Carole and Paul

  • William Foster On

    Every day I will remember your loving heart and generous soul and feel your bright light still showering on all your children. Wm

  • Brant Hanna On

    So sorry. Our family will be in Europe on the 28th but will think of Ute and the Jensen family.

Loading...

COPYRIGHTS © 2018 HealGrief All rights reserved. ...

HealGrief.org