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OUR OPINION: Hartje, Peterson, Jensen leave remarkable legacies

OUR OPINION: Hartje, Peterson, Jensen leave remarkable legacies

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To no insignificant degree, the success of a community depends upon the time, labor and money of civic-minded citizen volunteers and philanthropists.

Their engagement in and support for local projects, causes and nonprofit services are indispensable to strong quality of life.

In a span of less than three weeks this month, our city lost the passion and vision of three remarkable private-sector leaders dedicated to making this a better place to live and work.

They were:

* James Hartje, on July 5. A physician who practiced internal medicine and gastrointestinal medicine for more than 40 years, Hartje supported in ways big and small a long list of nonprofits, was a key backer of the Art Center and served on the Board of Education.

* "Ginny" Peterson, on July 13. The wife of Robert Peterson, the late former IBP inc. president and chief executive officer, Peterson was a role model and inspiration who believed the advantaged should help the disadvantaged. Through her caring spirit and generosity, she left an indelible mark. Perhaps nowhere does her legacy shine brighter than at Girls Inc. and the Boys & Girls Home.

* On July 22, Irving F. Jensen Jr.. A businessman whose longtime family-owned construction firm was established by his grandfather, C.M. Jensen, in 1896 (the business was sold to Knife River Corp. in 2005), Jensen was an indefatigable advocate for this city whose name was attached to a seemingly endless list of local endeavors. His dedication to renovation and preservation of the Orpheum Theatre down to the smallest of details is the stuff of local legend.

Hartje, Peterson and Jensen didn't seek or want attention, they simply wanted to give back and make this place the best it could be. We are a profoundly stronger community for their selfless contributions.

Through the examples they set for those who follow in their footsteps, they will continue to make a positive impact on our home long after they left us.

Our Opinion editorials represent the consensus view of The Sioux City Journal editorial board. Members of the board include: Bruce Miller, editor; Michael Gors, editorial page editor; Dave Dreeszen; managing editor; Tim Hynds, chief photographer.

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