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Fern Jensen

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Fern Jensen Obituary

December 20, 1933 - July 17, 2014

Fern was born at home to Lester and Helen Cue in Dow City, IA. She joined twin brothers Keith and Kenneth, brother Glen, and sister Marion. Brother Richard joined the family a few years later.

Mom graduated from Dow City High School in 1952. She was a 4 year letterwoman in basketball. She graduated from Iowa Methodist Hospital School of Nursing as a Registered Nurse in 1955. That same year she married Lon Jensen, from Denison, IA. They later divorced in 1975. Mom and Dad had three children; Susan, Thomas, and Matthew.

While Dad was in dental school, Mom worked full time as an OR Nurse and later as the Head Nurse at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, IA. After Dad graduated from dental school in 1963 they moved the family to Anita and Des Moines, IA, where he had his first dental practices. In order to find a more temperate climate than Iowa, they moved the family to Corvallis, OR, in 1965.

Mom worked for a short period at the OSU Student Health Center before becoming a school nurse for the Corvallis School District. She made many longtime friends, earning the respect of her peers. She was named Oregon School Nurse of the Year 1988/1989. Mom retired from the district when they decided to contract out school nursing.

She continued school nursing on contract and spent three summers pursuing and obtaining her extended license as a Family Nurse Practitioner. Mom continued working for various medical offices and as a consultant for school districts, writing health protocols for medically challenged students and training staff on those protocols. During her career Mom travelled on medical missions to Kazakhstan and Brazil and Christian missions to Brazil and Appalachia.

She continued working in the community with the Benton County Health Department until she resigned in December 2013, ending a 59 year career in nursing. When one of her caregivers recently asked when she had retired, Mom told her she was still a nurse. She had many friends and professional associates. Mom enjoyed playing bridge and taking part in weekly groups playing cribbage and Trivial Pursuit. She made it a point to travel back to Iowa every 1-2 years to visit family, friends, nursing school alumni, and attend the annual Dow City H.S. Alumni Banquet.

Her biggest joy was her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Mom always took an active interest in their lives and activities, whether it was driving to Salem for weekly family dinners, having coffee and discussions in Corvallis, or traveling to Reno to visit with her grandchildren.

Mom fought cancer twice, but lost her third and final battle on July 17, 2014, when she left her family and friends on Earth to live eternally with her Lord in Heaven. She was preceded in death by her parents, brother Keith, and grandson Tanner Jensen.

She is survived by brothers Kenneth, Glen, and Richard, sister Marion, numerous nieces and nephews, and children Sue (Don) Buckendorf, Salem, Tom (Maureen) Jensen, Corvallis, and Matt (Shannon) Jensen, Reno. Mom is also survived by her four grandchildren, Aaron (Amanda) Buckendorf, Keizer, Jacob (Leslie) Buckendorf, Salem, Lindsey (Erik) Steinke, Salem, and Molly Jensen, Reno, and by her four great grandchildren, McKenna and Cru Buckendorf, Salem, Emersyn Buckendorf, Keizer, and Finley Steinke, Salem.

Our family wishes to acknowledge and thank the staff at Timberview Care Center, Quail Run Assisted Living, Mennonite Home, and Samaritan Evergreen Hospice for their wonderful care and support of Mom and our families. Those wishing to make donations may do so in Mom's name to Samaritan Evergreen Hospice.

There will be a celebration of Mom's life and legacy on Saturday, August 9, 2014, at 10:00 a.m. at First Assembly of God, 2817 Santiam Hwy, Albany, OR.

Published in StatesmanJournal on July 24, 2014
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