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Margaret Ethelwyn Sarazin Tensen


1927 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Margaret Sarazin Tensen
1927 ~ 2018
Margaret Ethelwyn Sarazin Tensen was born January 27, 1927 to Dr. Joseph James (J.J.) and Ethelwyn Boydell Sarazin at Holy Rosary Hospital in Ontario, Oregon. She attended schools in Nyssa and graduated as valedictorian of her high school class in 1944. Margaret attended Oregon State University, which was then Oregon State College, where she was a member of Gamma Phi Beta sorority. She graduated in 1948 with a degree in Bacteriology. She then attended the University of California Medical School in San Francisco and obtained a Registered Medical Technologist degree. She worked in the Laboratory of Experimental Oncology (cancer research) which was funded by the University of California and the National Institutes of Health for a year. She had planned to come home that September to marry Dick George Tensen, also a native of Nyssa. However, her parents came to San Francisco in June to attend an American Medical Association meeting and her mother suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage and died on June 26, 1950. Margaret returned to Nyssa at that time.
Margaret and Dick were married in a small ceremony in the Sarazin living room on September 30, 1950. They moved in to the family home and cared for her father until his death in 1969. They also raised five children – Barbara Louise, Mardi Ethelwyn, John Dirk, William James and Tiena Margaret.
During high school and college, Margaret worked in her father's medical clinic. She remembered coming home on college breaks, being met at the train station and going directly to the clinic because her help was so desperately needed during the war. After her marriage, Margaret worked part-time in the Malheur Memorial Hospital laboratory from its opening in October 1950 until 1972. Her husband Dick graduated from Nyssa High School in 1943 and served in the Army Air Corps for three years. After the war ended, he also attended Oregon State University and graduated in 1950 with a degree in Business. He then went into an accounting business partnership with his brother-in-law, Grant Rinehart. Grant retired in 1972 and Dick started his own accounting practice. Margaret worked in his office until his death in 1986. She then became a Licensed Tax Preparer and for the next ten years worked for Jack Moore who had bought Dick's practice.
Margaret was an active member of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Nyssa where she served in many capacities including as Lay Reader, Senior Warden and Sunday School teacher. She enjoyed helping children and youth learn and develop and was a Girl Scout Leader for 15 years and a Candy Striper advisor for 10 years. Margaret helped form the Nyssa Cemetery District and was a member of the Eagles Auxiliary. She also served as a board member and active volunteer for the Nyssa Historical Society. Margaret was the keeper of the family history and contributed several articles about both her and Dick's families to local history publications. She also enjoyed playing bridge and was a member of several groups including a couples' club that she and Dick joined soon after they were married and that included some of their dearest friends. Margaret continued to play with that group for the next 65 years.
Margaret was always very interested in and supportive of family and she hosted the annual Sarazin Family Reunion every Memorial Day weekend at the family home at 402 Park Avenue. She was much-loved by her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren as well by her many nieces and nephews and their children. In early 2015 when it came time to sell the family home, Margaret left the house she had lived in since she was two years old and moved to Plantation Place Assisted Living in Boise to be closer to her children Mardi and John. While her family worried that after living alone for almost 30 years, she might find the transition difficult, Margaret approached it with the same positive attitude she had approached every other challenge in her life. She was a very active resident of Plantation Place and also kept up with her family through email and Facebook. Margaret was well-celebrated by family and friends on her 90th birthday in January of 2017.
Margaret died on Sunday, March 4, 2018 at Plantation Place Assisted Living.
She is survived by her daughters Barbara Ross (Gary) of Salem, Mardi Skinner (Rick) of Boise and Tiena Sniffin (Jerry) of San Diego, her son John Tensen (Julie) of Boise, her daughter-in-law Shelly Tensen of Ontario, 14 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband Dick and her son Bill.
A viewing and visitation will be Friday, March 9, 2018 from 4-6pm at Summers Funeral Home, 1205 W. Bannock Street, Boise, ID 83702. Funeral services will be held Saturday, March 10, 2018 at 11:00am at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, 2206 N. Cole Road, Boise, ID 83704. A luncheon will be served following the services at Summers Funeral Home, Ustick Chapel, 3629 E. Ustick Road, Meridian, ID 83646. Graveside services will follow the luncheon at 3:30pm at Hilltop Memorial Cemetery in Nyssa. Family and friends are cordially invited to attend any or all of the services and gatherings.
Memorials may be made to Ascension School (PO Box 278, Cove, OR 97824), the Nyssa Historical Society (PO Box 2303, Nyssa OR 97913) or a . The family wishes to thank the staff of Plantation Place Assisted Living and Signature Hospice of Boise for the loving care they extended to Margaret in her later years.
Published in Idaho Statesman on Mar. 7, 2018
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