Willa Marie (Lyon) Jensen (1926 - 2013)

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Funeral services for Willa M. Jensen, 87, were conducted by Pastor Doug Opp on Friday, Nov. 1, 2013, at 10:30 a.m. at Our Saviour's Lutheran Church in Audubon. Interment was in the Exira Cemetery in Exira. The casket bearers were: John McWilliams, Greg Hetrick, Jake Sullivan, Kenny Davis, Earl White, and Ron Prothe.   Kessler Funeral Home in Audubon was in charge of the arrangements.
Willa Marie Jensen, the daughter of Lionel and Rheta Baker Lyon, was born Aug, 14, 1926, in Garden City, Kan., and died Oct. 26, 2013, at The Friendship Home in Audubon, at the age of 87 years, 2 months, and 12 days.
Willa was baptized at Wellsford Methodist Church in Wellsford, Kan. She attended school in various towns and then graduated from the Wellsville High School with the Class of 1944. After graduation she was employed as a Certified Nurse's Aide at the Ransom Memorial Hospital in Ottawa, Kan., and the Security Benefit Hospital in Topeka, Kan.
On Jan. 8, 1947, she was united in marriage to Melvin Jensen in Lawrence, Kan. Four children: Charlene, Sherri, Dale, and Melanie were born to this union. They moved to Exira and made their home on the farm they called Meadow Acres Farm. They raised livestock including cows, chickens, and hogs. Willa was a homemaker for many years raising their children and fixing meals for the hired hands. She then was employed part time at The Friendship Home in Audubon as a Nurse's Aide and later was a substitute secretary for the Exira Lutheran Church in Exira. Melvin died Sept. 21, 1993. Willa then made her home in Audubon until she moved to the Friendship Home in June of 2010.
    Willa was a 4-H leader for the Hamlin Cheer Ups for many years and was a judge at the Audubon County Fair. She was a member of the Audubon County Hospital Auxiliary, Exira Care Center Auxiliary, Exira Lions Club where she was well known for her egg salad, Exira Red Hat Firecrackers, Exira Garden Club, Busy Bees Neighborhood Club, Naomi Circle at the Exira Lutheran Church, and was the queen bee for the Friendship Home Red Hats for the last three years. Willa enjoyed sewing, attending bingo and gardening where she always had a large flower and vegetable garden. She also enjoyed traveling with Melvin and her most memorable place was her trip to Israel.
Willa was preceded in death by her husband Melvin G. Jensen; her brothers-in-laws: Wilbur White; Jens and wife Hilda Jensen; Emery and wife Viola Jensen; and George Jensen; her sisters-in-law: Carrie and husband Chris Petersen; Annie Jensen; Nellie and husband Roy Nelson; and Pearl Jensen.
Survivors include her children: Charlene Chambers of Wellington, Kan.; Sherri Sieck of Atlantic; Dale and wife Nancy Jensen of Atlantic; Melanie Jensen of Omaha, Neb.; her grandchildren: John and wife Pam McWilliams of Des Moines; Matthew Chambers of Topeka, Kan.; Sarah and husband Greg Hetrick of North Liberty; Stephanie and husband Jake Sullivan of Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota; Greg and wife Carrie Jensen of Audubon; Jenny and husband Greg Fry of Stoutland, Mo.; Ann Nielsen and fiancé Larry Jo Hinners both of Manning; Adam Jensen of Exira; Heather and husband Danny Newman of Atlantic; 21 great-grandchildren; her sisters: Elsie White of Hugoton, Kan.; Nellie Faye Simmons of Tulsa, Okla.; Clarene and husband Roger Prothe of Paola, Kan.; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Funeral Home
Kessler Funeral Home
515 S Division St
Audubon, IA 50025
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Published in AUDUBON COUNTY ADVOCATE JOURNAL from Nov. 1 to Nov. 8, 2013