Our Father’s Lutheran Church in Rockford
September 9, 2009
Calvin J. Lensink, age 82, of Buffalo formerly of Anchorage, Alaska, passed away on August 20th. Calvin was born on May 8, 1927 to John and Cynthia Lensink in Cedar Grove, Wisconsin. Calvin began his 30-year career with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service as a temporary biological technician in Juneau, Alaska, where he was engaged in field studies of marine mammals, waterfowl, and big game animals of Alaska. His interest in wildlife was kindled during his youth in the Dakotas and southwestern Minnesota, where he lived with his family.
In September 1951, Cal accepted a research assistantship in the Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit at the University of Alaska. This appointment was the beginning of a life-long career in wildlife management and research. Cal earned a Master of Science degree in Wildlife Management at the University of Alaska in 1954.
Cal returned to the Midwest in September 1955 to pursue a Doctor of Philosophy in Wildlife Management at Purdue University, where he was a Research Assistant through June 1957.
Perhaps the most important and long-lasting contribution Cal Lensink made to the mission of the USFWS occurred during an intensive 6-week detail from Clarence Rhode National Wildlife Range to Washington D.C. in October and November 1971. It was Cal’s knowledge and guidance that helped identify what are today 76 million acres of National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska. For his contributions to this landmark effort, Cal received a Superior Performance Award and a Letter of Commendation from the Secretary of the Interior.
Dr. Calvin Lensink had an exceptionally productive career with the USFWS. He devoted his life to understanding the habits and population ecology of migratory birds, marine mammals, and big game, and was a leading proponent of conservation of these Alaskan resources. In 1990 Cal received the Distinguished Service Award, which is the highest tribute of the Department of the Interior. After retiring in 1988 Cal became a member of the Board of Directors of the National Wildlife Refuge Association and had remained actively involved until his death on August 20, 2009.
Calvin Lensink is survived by brothers: Arnon Lensink of Bradbury, California; Everett Lensink (Mary) of Bozeman, Montana; sisters: Lorraine Adams (Roger) of LaGrange Park, Illinois; Eleanor Ingman of Spring Park, Minnesota.
Preceded in death by parents: John and Cynthia Lensink; brothers: Robert Lensink, Jay Lensink (infant).
Memorial service will be held September 9 at 3PM with a visitation a half-hour prior at Our Father’s Lutheran Church, 3903 Gilbert Ave. SE, Rockford, MN 55373. Serving the family….
The Peterson Chapel-Buffalo