Former Oak Bay mayor Nils Jensen has passed away after a short battle with cancer.
Close friend Michael McEvoy posted to Facebook Sunday morning, saying the community has “lost a giant.”
Jensen spent more than 15 years sitting on Oak Bay council and was elected mayor in 2011. He spent two terms as mayor before losing to Murdoch in a 2018 campaign for re-election.
Jensen also served as chair of the Capital Regional District (CRD) board, trustee for the Greater Victoria Public Library and chair of BC Mayors’ Caucus. He spent 12 years as chair of the CRD’s Water board.
Oak Bay mayor Kevin Murdoch shared the post online, saying, “Nils was a good man and had far too much life yet to live. We all owe him our respect and appreciation for everything he’s given to the community… He will be missed greatly.”
In his Facebook post, McEvoy describes how Jensen moved to Canada from Denmark at eight-years-old and developed a passion for the communities in which he lived.
“While he loved his Oak Bay, Nils forward-thinking vision extended to the entire lower island,” he said. “His vast reservoir of patience and optimism allowed him to successfully work with many colleagues on critical infrastructure projects as a member and Chair of the Capital Regional District.”
|Former Oak Bay mayor Nils Jensen is being remembered as great friend and incredible community member, who contributed many years of service to Oak Bay and Greater Victoria. (Facebook/Laurie Anne Faulkner)|
Jensen had a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering, a law degree and a master of law. He worked as a crown prosecutor for the province of B.C., taught law in Ontario and according to McEvoy, “worked to make a more effective legal system by helping to bring modern technologies to the courtroom.”
He described him as a “wonderful friend.”
In the draft of his obituary, sent to Black Press by Jensen’s family, Jensen is described as a “‘people person’ who truly cared about those around him.
“Nils died as he lived, with dignity, strength, humour and by making new connections with everyone around him until the end,” it reads.
“Nils was also a community leader who dedicated his time to improving the world around him.”
Jensen leaves behind his wife, Jean and two sons, Nicholas and Stewart.
A memorial will be held Thursday at 2 p.m. at the Oak Bay High School Community Theatre. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Mayors’ Art Legacy Fund.