Orcas Power & Light Co-op Mourns the Passing of Nourdine Jensen

Longtime OPALCO Director Nourdine H. Jensen, age 95, passed away peacefully with family by his side on October 11, 2009. He was at Island Hospital in Anacortes, WA after fighting a brief illness. Nourdine was born September 17, 1914 in the home his father built in Friday Harbor, Washington. Born to Albert and Julia Jane (Frits) Jensen, Nourdine lived in Friday Harbor about 83 of his 95 years.

After graduating from Friday Harbor High School, Nourdine attended the University of Washington and worked as an auto mechanic in Seattle. In 1938 he married Vera Smethurst of Seattle before he returned home to help his father with the family business, Albert Jensen & Sons Shipyard. Soon after coming home, he served in World War II as a Chief Motor Machinist’s Mate in the South Pacific. In 1946 Nourdine and Vera settled permanently in Friday Harbor. Nord eventually took over operations at the Shipyard where he worked until the day he died. He designed and/or built over 150 boats in his tenure at the yard. Nourdine served as a director on the OPALCO board for 37 years from 1965-1969 and 1975-2008 and was a champion of affordable electricity for everyone in San Juan County. In 2007, Nourdine was awarded the NWPPA “John M. George Public Service Award” for his demonstrated remarkable service to public power.

Nord’s contributions to OPALCO’s institutional memory and cooperative spirit were tremendous and his absence is deeply felt.