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Willard C. Jensen, harness racing driver, trainer July 22, 1916 -- July 7, 2007

Services for Willard C. "Wick" Jensen of Boston, a harness racing driver and trainer for five decades, will be at 11 a.m. today in Wurtz Funeral Home, 9287 Boston State Road, Boston.

He died Saturday in the farm house in which he was born. He was 90.

A lifelong resident of the Boston Valley and a graduate of Hamburg High School, he operated a milk hauling business for 35 years, picking up fresh milk from farmers and trucking it to dairies in Buffalo. He retired in 1970.

He had an abiding interest in horses -- his father had sold work horses -- and started racing in the early 1950s after a friend persuaded him to breed his saddle horse with a pacing stallion, producing Red Treasure, a horse that won $50,000 in a 12-year career.

"Every time I walked by him in the barn, I didn't know whether to thank him or blame him for getting me into this business," the genial Mr. Jensen told The Buffalo News in 1987, two years after Red Treasure died.

A regular at Buffalo Raceway as a driver and a judge through the 1990s, he was a founder of East Aurora's Racing Days, which featured trotting heats down Girard Avenue in the village. He won numerous heats and took home the Racing Days Cup twice.

His first marriage to the former Lenore Northy ended in divorce. His second marriage was to the former Mildred Colgate, who died in 1986.

Surviving are three sons, Harold "Butch," Robin and Larry Wegner, and two daughters, Marleah Szudzik and Melody Schweizer.


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