Reynold A. Jensen (Ren) was born July 31, 1929 on a farm outside a small town in Eastern Iowa, the son of Oscar and Laura Reynolds Jensen. Ren resided on the farm with his family until his father passed away in 1940 when he moved to Maquoketa with his mother and younger brother, John L. Jensen (Jack). After attending junior high school in Maquoketa, Ren and his family moved to Anamosa where he attended high school. In high school Ren was active in sports and participated in football and basketball, graduating in 1946.

After graduating high school Ren worked at Iowa Manufacturing in Cedar Rapids and then for John Deere in Moline, Ill. until moving to California in 1948 and joining the coast guard. After his service in the coast guard, Ren worked for Atlantic Richfield Oil Company and met and married Wanda Vaugh.

After working for Atlantic Richfield for approximately 11 years, Ren ventured out in business on his own, first owning and operating a Speedie Mart which eventually became a Seven-Eleven Mini Mart. During this time, Ren heard from friends of their success with the Taco Bell franchises which were at the time expanding across the country. Ren explored the opportunity and although there were at first no franchises available, Ren became acquainted with Glen Bell, the founder of Taco Bell and began working for Mr. Bell, assisting in training new franchise owners. In 1968, Glen Bell told Ren there was a location available that would be “a good one,” offered him the Taco Bell location in Fresno, and told Ren he knew he would be successful. This launched Ren on a 22-year career as an owner/operator of Taco Bell Restaurants in the Central Valley, eventually expanding his operations to 18 restaurant locations.

In September 1990, Ren sold his restaurants to the parent company, then Pepsi. With his working career behind him, Ren retired to Nevada and Hawaii. After several years of retirement, Ren, who was divorced from his first wife, attended a high school reunion where he met Dorothy Downing and a few years later, in 1995, Ren and Dorothy married. They traveled throughout the world.

In 2016, Ren and Dorothy returned to California and resided in Clovis, Calif. until Ren passed away March 6, 2020.

Ren is survived by his wife, Dorothy, and her three children, his brother Jack, and Jack’s wife Sue Jensen, and their three children.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.