Former River Heights mayor reflects
on a life of active community service
By Ben Walker
February 6, 2006 | RIVER HEIGHTS -- Vic Jensen got
his practice for being the mayor of 1,500-resident River
Heights city by heading an 11-resident home, teaching
and administrating in schools and refereeing for 38
Jensen, who has lived in River Heights for more than
25 years, was recently replaced as mayor by Todd Weston.
Jensen said he was asked to do the job by outgoing
mayor Ralph Degn. "He came to me and said 'we only have
one candidate running and we'd like to have an election,'"
Jensen said. "I thought, this is a good thing to do.
I'd like to try that."
As mayor, Jensen worked with a council which started
and passed a bond for a 1-million gallon reservoir and
repaired a 500,000-gallon reservoir. The project, which
included improving city water lines, cost roughly $830,000.
Jensen was born in Salt Lake City and grew up in Mt.
Pleasant. His father was a politician and Jensen was
the president of his student body at North Sanpete High
School, but strayed from the political path, moving
to Logan in 1947 to attend Utah State Agricultural College
and study physical education.
He met his wife Elaine that same year and married
her about a year later. Her grandfather, Bill Davidson,
was a founder of River Heights and since 1980, the Jensens
have lived across from the home where she lived as a
"We used to come see grandpa and grandma in River
Heights when our kids were little," Jensen said.
Jensen worked while attending the college and received
a bachelor's degree in 1955. By that time the Jensens
had six children. The Jensens ended up having nine children
in just over a 10-year period.
Jensen said he would have liked to receive more education,
but was busy taking care of a large family. "I had tough
enough sledding trying to keep shoes on the kids' feet,"
Jensen moved his young family to Franklin, Idaho,
to launch a career in education. He was a band and music
teacher for seven years and also was the school's principal
for five years and a coach for a year during those seven
Jensen again involved himself in politics while in
Idaho as the chairman of the Democratic party in Franklin
County when John F. Kennedy was elected president.
He returned to Cache Valley and continued his career
in education and administration. Jensen had teaching
stints at a couple of schools before joining the first
teaching staff when Sky View High School opened. At
Sky View, he spent about 12 years while coaching swimming,
golf and cross country as well as helping with the football
and track teams and serving as the athletic director.
"I always wanted to be a coach, but I fell into administration,"
He did indeed fall into administration as he was also
a vice-principal at Sky View before going to South Cache
Middle School to be the principal for three years.
He did get ample opportunity to coach and oversee
athletics as he served as the area athletic director
for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
from 1960 to 1988. Jensen was in charge of tournaments
from Avon to Soda Springs.
"The church gave me an opportunity to fill my goals,"
Jensen retired in 1987. Today, he fills his time in
the service of others. "The neighbors will say I'm the
best snow-shoveler in town," he said.
He remains active in the Lions Club. Jensen was the
president of the club until last July. He is also a
temple worker in the Logan LDS Temple.