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Ute Jensen

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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 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

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