Arthur Jaren Swensen passed away peacefully at home on Sunday, March 10, 2024 at the age of 89. Jaren was born in Murray, Utah on August 28, 1934 to Arthur Lavern Swensen and Ona Marie Shields Swensen. He had a wonderful childhood and graduated from Murray High School with the class of 1952. He went to work for the US Forest Service in northern Idaho for the summer following his graduation. He loved his time working with the Forest Service, and it helped him realize working outdoors was where he wanted to be!

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Jaren was extremely patriotic and enlisted in the United States Navy. He served at Long Beach Naval Base and aboard the USS Twining, a Fletcher-class destroyer-which was part of the Pacific fleet. Jaren was very proud of the service he provided to his nation.

Following the Navy, Jaren enrolled at Brigham Young University. He graduated with a BS in Geology and continued on to earn a Master’s degree in Invertebrate Paleontology.

While at BYU, Jaren met the love of his life, Shirley Ann Cannon, when they enrolled in the same class. When he saw her, he had the thought, “There is my wife.” He asked her out and they dated for a year before getting married in the Salt Lake LDS temple in September 1959.

Jaren spent many years teaching geology classes through the BYU Salt Lake Center and also at Dugway Proving Grounds. He was a masterful teacher who helped his students learn to love and appreciate the geology around them.

Jaren worked full time for 30 years at Utah’s Kennecott Copper Mine. As part of his job he mapped the entire Oquirrh Mountain Range making hand-drawn-and-colored topographic and geologic maps. He would also map the rock face after an area had been mined. He would examine core samples to see what the mineral content of the rock was in each specific area for future mining. At one point while mapping the east face of the Oquirrhs, he came across an anomaly in the rocks in one area. He took a sample of the unique rock back to examine it and found it had a high gold content. He had discovered gold, which led to the birth of the Barneys Canyon Mine. It produced millions of dollars of gold while it was open, but for Jaren it was all part of a day’s work.

Jaren retired from Kennecott in 1994 but continued to consult for many years.

Jaren had many loves and hobbies. He was an incredible historian. He read thousands of books. He was an expert on the Civil War and Abraham Lincoln. He studied World War II extensively. He loved the history of indigenous people, pioneer and church heritage, and antiques.

Jaren was especially fond of his nine grandchildren and all of the grandpuppies and great-grandpuppies! He instilled the love of learning in each of the grandchildren. He would talk to them, teach them and always ask them about school and activities. They adored him, as did all of the puppies! He greeted each dog and gave them special treats. He loved his own little Daisy dog and walked her around the block until the very end.

Jaren is survived by his loving wife, Shirley, and his four children, Jeffrey, Phoenix, Arizona; Diane Baum (Michael), Sandy, Utah; David, Draper, Utah; and Sarah Smith (Christopher), South Jordan, Utah. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Kent, and sister Karen Swensen Nelson.

The funeral service will be Saturday, March 16 at Mountain View Memorial Chapel and Cemetery 3115 Bengal Blvd, Cottonwood Heights, Utah. Viewing/family visitation 12:00-12:45. Funeral service 1:00 in Mountain View Memorial Chapel.

Internment at Mountain View Memorial Cemetery following service.



Saturday, Mar. 16, 2024 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Memorial Mountain View Mortuary
3115 East 7800 South
Cottonwood Heights, UT 84121

Funeral Service

Saturday, Mar. 16, 2024 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Memorial Mountain View Mortuary
3115 East 7800 South
Cottonwood Heights, UT 84121

Services Handled By

Memorial Mountain View Mortuary & Cemetery
3115 East 7800 South
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Life Story Info

Post Date

Mar 13, 2024

Personal Info


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NEXT Kenneth "Ken" F. Jones Kenneth "Ken" F. Jones


I was one of Oscar Swensen grandsons. And Shirley Swenson's son. Saw Jaren through the years when I was younger growing up in Murray. Unfortunately like so much family had not seen him in years but fond memories of what a kind man he seemed to be. His family was very lucky to have him.

Brad Wallin , Draper , UT, US Apr 05, 2024