American Veteran 09


Wesley Hans Jorgensen

1934 - 2021


Wes Jorgensen, 86, Lt Col USAF, retired, of Surprise, AZ, and living at the Memory Support in the Colonnade, "checked out" on March 5, 2021, of plain old age. He was born May 17, 1934, in Gilroy, CA, a second son to Bessie and Hans Jorgensen. As one of 3 children, he grew up in the country in Morgan Hill, CA, during WWII and learned the hard way, milking cows before school, riding a used bike to a one-room schoolhouse, and then getting the farm animals in before dark, doing his lessons by candlelight, having no TV or cell phone. He graduated from Live Oak Union High School, Morgan Hill, CA, in 1951. There was no money for college, but his truck-driving Dad wanted him to go to college. With their help and no extras, he graduated from San Jose State University in Production Engineering (having been in ROTC) as a 2nd Lieutenant in the USAF in early 1957. having met Luanne, they married in August of that year and started their 23 year career of faithful service with the AF, travelling to many assignments over those years. After months of flight training, he became an AF Navigator and taught navigation. Duty stations included Lackland AFB, San Antonio, TX; Loultrie, GA; Big Spring, TX; Waco, TX; Mather AFB Sacramento, CA; Stillwater, OK; USAF Academy, Colorado Springs, CO; Vietnam; Wiesbaden, Germany; Ramstein, Germany; Maxwell AFB, Montgomery, AL; and Lowry AFB, Denver, CO. He received his MS in Industrial Engineering from Oklahoma State University and was a Registered Professional Engineer. From there he taught at the Air Force Academy for 5 years. After a Viet Name stint for a year, his assignment took the family to Germany for 4 years in the 1970's. Back to Alabama to Air War College for more schooling, he then retired from the Air Force out of Lowry AFB in Denver, CO in 1980. Another stint for 10 years at Lockheed-Martin in Denver where he worked in the Missile Systems Division before he finally retired for good in Colorado in 1990.

After some home changes in the Denver area, he and Luanne became snowbirds to PebbleCreek in Goodyear, AZ in 1997 for 19 years. And finally selling their last ties to Colorado in 2012, they made Arizona their permanent home. After 4 more years in PebbleCreek, they decided on Independent Living at The Colonnade in Surprise, AZ in 2016.

He and Luanne bore and raised 3 fine sons. Throughout his life and careers, Wes was always liked by all. He was there to do that "little extra" and was always helping his fellow friend. He could "fix" about anything. He was a Cubmaster for a Cub Scout Pack in Germany of over 120 boys, ran a Cub Pack in Denver, owned fixer-upper homes and a 5-unit apartment house downtown Denver to keep up, all while working a 40-hour work week. He always kept in touch with his many friends over the years, mostly military, as they were lasting friends.

Survivors include his loving wife, Luanne, of 63 years;  3 sons, Greg (Dacia) of Oklahoma City, OK; Bryan (Dana) of Tujunga, CA; Don (Faye) of Del Rio, TX; granddaughter Breanna (Tom Wolfe) of Dripping Springs, TX;  sister, Bonnie Michener of Arlington, TX; brother-in-law Chuck Coleman (Mary) of Thomasville, GA; nieces and nephews C.B. Coleman  (Bobbi) of Lutz, FL;  Amy Hart  (Chris)  of  Thomasville, GA; Lucia Wilke (Jonathan) of Keller, TX; Rob Reynolds (Rebecca) of Tulsa, OK;  Traci Pacatte (Justin) of Arlington, TX;  and many great nieces and nephews.

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March 16, 2021 3:46 PM
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