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

Services for Willard C. "Wig" Jensen of Boston, a harness racing driver and trainer for five decades, were held Tuesday in Wertz Funeral Home, Boston.

Mr. Jensen died Saturday in the farmhouse 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 had an abiding interest in horses -- his father had sold race 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 $20,000 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 wife, the former Mildred Colgate, died in 1986.

He is survived by three sons, Harold "Butch," Robin and Larry Wegner, and two daughters, Marleah Szudzik and Melody Schweizer.

[TSULLIVAN]

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