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In Memory


Tom died on July 26, 2020, from natural causes.
Thomas Shum Jensen passed away on Sunday, July 26, 2020. He was born August 3, 1951 to Marjorie Sutherland and Floyd B. "Shum" Jensen. Tom was the youngest of three brothers. He grew up on Hillcrest Avenue in Highland Park, his home perched above what was then a vast gully with a creek. He spent much of his idyllic childhood in the gully "hunting" for golf balls from the neighboring country club and building trails and forts. His early experiences being the neighborhood "gully boy" instilled a lifelong love of nature and outdoor adventures.
In high school, Tom was the captain of the Highland High track team. He was a natural athlete and took third in state in cross country his senior year. He received a track scholarship to the University of Utah, where he was the third generation to affiliate with the Sigma Chi fraternity and made many lifelong friends.
He married his sweetheart Lisa in 1974 and they remain married 45 years later. They had three children and later on adopted their grandchild. Tom was a devoted and incredible husband, father, grandfather, and friend. He had a heart of gold-his children and wife never for one second doubted that he loved them unconditionally. He was known for his warmth and presence-his ability to talk to anyone and make them feel important, comfortable, and welcome. He was also known to tear up at any touching story, earning the nickname "Tom Tenderheart." Although his family lost him early, we still received more than a lifetime's worth of love.
Tom had an independent spirit, so after years of working for companies in the title insurance industry, he started his own successful business and named it Scansystems. Lisa and the kids all helped with the family business, where Tom's resourcefulness and work ethic set an example for us all.
Tom's loves included golf, hiking and camping with his family, and exploring the mountains and desert in his beloved VW buses. He was young at heart, spontaneous, playful, mischievous, and always making friends. He adored kids and animals, and they adored him, too. He had a special connection with cats and dogs, his cat Milo always being on his lap. When he helped out at his granddaughter's daycare, the kids fought over him at recess. He was a second father to many nieces, nephews, and friends. He is deeply loved and will be deeply missed.
Tom is survived by his loving wife, Lisa Marie Payne; his son Zak, daughters Rebecca and Sarah (Dominic), and his granddaughter Grace Linscomb, who he was fortunate to adopt; his brother Mike (Lyn) and sister-in-law Beth; his mother-in-law Betty Jo Payne, sister-in-law Julie Hardy, brothers-in-law John (Denise), Glenn (Karen), Kendall (former wife Kerri), Dan (Kim), and many beloved nieces, nephews, and friends.
Tom was preceded in death by his mother and father, brother Jeffrey J. Jensen, father-in-law Wendell E. Payne, and other aunts, uncles, and friends.
In lieu of flowers, his family asks that you donate to an animal shelter of your choosing. And if you're golfing on the 10th hole of Bonneville Golf Course or hiking in the Utah desert, think fondly of him.
Due to COVID-19, his celebration of life will be held at a later time that is safe for us to gather and give Tom a deserving farewell. Updates will be available on Tom's obituary site (yet to come), as well as personally from family.
To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.


Classmate Comments -

Tom was really a great guy. I know that phrase is over used, but in Tom’s case, if the track shoes fit, you run with’em. And run well he did!  - John Felt

I regret hearing this news. Tom was a dear friend. I have the best adventure memories of Tom. We would sneak his parents car and my Dad’s International Harvester Scout on occasion and go on adventure rides before we were licensed to drive. We’d go visit Kathy Snow and other Highland girls. Somehow we got away with it. Another time, I went into Stevens and Brown Sports to buy my first protective Jockstrap “Cup” for playing football. Tom’s Mother was my sales person. She asked me “what size are you”? I remember turning red and being totally embarrassed and then she said, “what is your waist size.” I think she got a kick out of embarrassing me. Rest In Peace dear friend. - Michael Gordon Coulam

I am saddened to hear of Tom’s death and also hear that it followed years of bad health. It’s hard to imagine Tom struggling physically when he was so energetic in high school. He was a great cross country runner and always had plenty of extra energy for mischief as his close friends will testify!
(Yes Mike, I remember that summer and your visits; I think Chilton also came along. The song we all loved on the radio was “Wipe-out”. Seems like yesterday.) -
Kathleen Snow McKean

Sending love and prayers to family. - Kayleen Daniels English

Such sad news. Tom was always full of life and living large. Prayers of comfort for him and his family. - William R. Stringham

Tom was the lifeblood of Highland High for the class fo '69. He covered a wide gamut of relationships. He and his brother Jeff played a large role in my college life. Saddened to know he had been ill for some time. Losing two 'brothers' in less than one year is hard to take.
Godspeed bro.
- Robert Richards

I was saddened to hear of Tom’s death. I remember him as great cross country runner and a good friend of Kathy Snow’s. - Linda Adams DeVore

He was my 5th-6th grade boyfriend...it's so sad to hear of classmates passing. - Shirley Keiser

I have fond memories of Tommy. I really enjoyed our association on the track team. Prayers and condolences to family members. - Steven C. Harker



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07/31/20 03:01 PM #1    

William (Bill) Rogers

I wasn't really aware he was having health issues. Terrible news. Spent many a day with Tom going to baseball practice as young teens Shum would pick me up with a couple others and drive us in a vw. We would be stuffed in like sardines. Then we would either go the the tennis club or dig forts in the gully behind his house. I remember him being so upset with his braces that he got the plyers and ripped them off. Many a good time.
RIP my friend. 

08/02/20 01:55 PM #2    

Mike K. Richards

Very saddened to see Tom passed away. I'll always remember him from our time in junior high at Hillside. I had some fun times with him in my gym classes and eating lunch together. Although we didn't hang out much at Highland, I always liked seeing him in the halls and talking with him whenever our paths crossed. Very sad to see how many more of our classmates we're losing even since our reunion last year. Will always remember and have great memories of Tom. RIP friend.

08/02/20 06:55 PM #3    

Christopher R. Horne

Tom, you were a great friend and business associate. I know I am a better person for my association with you. We spent many hours eating scones or some other breakfast treat. I enjoyed golfing when we had a chance to get out together. I truly wish you the best as you start a new adventure. I know that your family loved you dearly and you will be missed greatly. The numerous times I came to your home ware wonderful. It was an honor and privilege for me to meet your family. Tom the best to you in your travels.

08/02/20 07:11 PM #4    

Christopher R. Horne

One last comment as I sort through my memories.  Every Halloween was a special surprise to see what Tom would have on for a costume as he made his rounds for Western States Title Company  They were always funny, well thought out and had there own shock value.  Tom, thanks for the good times and the memories.

08/15/20 12:41 AM #5    

Brent R. Scott

As soon as I was invited to join the track & cross country teams, Tom & I hit it off immediately. In any dual track meet he always placed first or second. I came in either second or third. The joke was "hey, Brent - are you placing 2nd or 3rd today." He was my muse. My mentor & close friend. We did the 880 run & sometimes the mile relay. At the state track & field meet in Provo, we both gave it our best shot in the 880.  Tom placed higher than me but I still placed high enough to get points for our team. I pushed hard - too hard. After the 880 I was hiding underneath the bleachers cuz I was puking. The mile  relay was coming up & there was no way I could do it. I was trashed. Then I hear someone yelling that  I was under the bleachers. They rushed over & said it's almost time for the mile relay. Come on, Brent! You can do this! They literally dragged me back to the track area. In about 10 minutes the mile relay was scheduled. I tried to suck it up & their love & enthusiasm started to envelop me. So, off we go into the mile relay. Holy sheep fritters! I did very well & our team garnished points. Everybody was telling me that they knew I could do it! One memorable day, to say the least. One final memory. So Coach Hardcastle tells us that he  has something scheduled one day & that he is unable to coach our cross country team, so we can do whatever we want. So we talk about it for a few minutes then Tom suggests that we run out to Olympus High School, chat with their cross country team if they're available, then run back to Highland High School. The Olympus team was at their school so we were able to chat for a while then we headed back to Highland. Between 39th & 33rd South, on 23rd East we're running north. This vehicle is coming toward us, slows down & pulls out of traffic. The driver's face is leaning against the steering wheel looking through the windshield  with a total look of astonishment on his face. Yep - it was Coach Hardcastle. He stops, rolls the window down & says very loudly "what the f**k are you all doing way out here?" We explained what we were doing. He was dumbfounded. We all quickly were having one heck of a laugh. Then we parted ways. We laughed about that for months. Thanks to Tom and others, my years at Highland were 3 blessed years, to say the very least. I couldn't have spent those three years in a better place, with better people, higher positivity, remarkable teachers and a spirit that yet resonates good vibes. One of the most amazing, blessed experiences of my life. Tom contributed to me as a fellow athlete & coach. No criticism. Instilled the notion that we are all trying to do our best - on the teams, in the classes, among all fellow students & for the good of all things relating to our Highland High School experience. God bless you,Tom. Quietly & sincerely one of the finest person that I have ever known. 

08/15/20 12:17 PM #6    

Douglas M. Richardson

We will greatly miss you, "Stinky"...!  When I read your obituary, most of your activities in the "Canyon", including Cross Country, Track, Golf, etc....were with me....!  Thanks for saving my life that day, in the river!  And, "Thanks" 'for being one of my "Best Friends"..!



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