Margaret T. Jensen
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Author and speaker Margaret T. Jensen died at her home in Wilmington, North Carolina, on March 19, 2007, at the age of 90. She was surrounded by her family, who cared for her during her last months.
Margaret served as a nurse in Illinois, Georgia, and North Carolina, until her retirement. She then began a second career as an author and national inspirational speaker. Her best-loved book, First We Have Coffee, was published in 1982, and soon became a best-seller.
Her writing career began after she attended a writer's conference at Gordon College, where she met editors and publishers who encouraged her to submit a book manuscript. First We Have Coffee is an autobiographical compilation of stories from Margaret's childhood as a daughter of immigrant parents from Norway who served in pastoral leadership in Norwegian communities from the Midwest, Canada and Brooklyn. Mrs. Jensen went on to write 15 more books, including the novel, First Comes the Wind, and other books from her family's experience, including, Papa's Place, Lena, All God's Children Got Robes, Violets for Mr. B, Who Will Wind the Clock, and A Nail in a Sure Place. Margaret wrote her last book, The Mending Basket, at the age of 89.
The theater on the campus of Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts, is named in honor of Margaret Jensen, a storyteller who loved to bring encouragement and hope to others through linking the message of God's love to the challenges of life. Mrs. Jensen also appeared on television and radio programs throughout Canada and the US. She loved to share her inspirational stories and to point others to God's love.
Margaret Jensen was the wife of the late Harold E. Jensen, who served churches in Illinois and Georgia. She is survived by her sister, Mrs. Joyce Jensen of Fort Smith, AR; daughter, Janice Jensen Carlberg of Wenham, MA; two sons, Ralph H. Jensen of Wilmington, North Carolina, and Daniel E. Jensen of Whittier, California; as well as six grandchildren, Dr. Heather Carlberg Willis of Fort Defiance AZ, Chad Carlberg of Salem, MA, Christopher Shawn Jensen of Wilmington, NC, Capt. Eric Jensen of Fort Knox, KY, Sarah Jensen and Elise Jensen of Wilmington. Margaret was known as Grammy LaLa to her six great-grandchildren, Lily and Luke Willis, Gracynne, Lund, and Kade Jensen, and Leora Jensen.
A memorial service will be held at the Myrtle Grove Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, North Carolina, on Saturday, April 7, 2007. Friends and family are invited to meet at 9:30 a.m. for coffee, remember, "first we have coffee", until the memorial service at 11 am.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Margaret T. Jensen scholarship fund for aspiring writers, in care of, Gordon College, 255 Grapevine Road, Wenham, MA 01984.
Tributes and Condolences may be offered to the family at
Coble Ward-Smith Funeral Service, Oleander Chapel, 910-791-4444.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Star-News on Mar. 25, 2007.
Memories & Condolences
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11 entries
February 15, 2021
Well if the last one what 13 years late then I guess I am late also. I just read, First We Have Coffee. What a treasure. I am now on a hunt to find other books of Mrs. Jensen's. An inspiration for those who long to walk in a way worthy of the Lord.
Dorothy Chaloux
August 21, 2020
It looks like I am about 13 years late to give my appreciation directly to Margaret, but I will offer my appreciation to her family instead. I just read her book Violets for Mr. B and I was so much reminded of the work my own mother did, someone of Mrs Jensen's era. My mom also was a private duty nurse, and she absolutely loved her work. She always felt that modern day nursing didn't measure up to the personal care the "old nurses" were taught to perform. I am so sad I hadn't come across this book before my mom passed away in 2018 at the age of 96. She really would have enjoyed hearing Margaret's stories. Thanks for recording your career in nursing in this inspirational book, Margaret.
Linda McLellan
April 6, 2007
We have all lost a grand lady, who loved her Lord, her family, and the multitude of people she touched through her books and talks. I am grateful to God for her and for the friendship we had.
Blessings to all the family.
Robin Perry
March 31, 2007
I have met so many people in my 27 years in the travel industry but few left the impression that Ms.Jensen did. She always had a twinkle in her eye and a smile on her face. There are few people that we would look foward to seeing often but she always made for such a wonderful experience that she will truly be missed.God Bless your family and my prayers are with you.
Annette Mangum
March 30, 2007
After reading one of Margaret Jensen's books, I was captivated by her writing. I have read almost all of her books and heard her speak a couple of times. She was a charming lady and I'm certain that her books have encouraged and inspired many readers. In Sept. 2005 I was looking for a copy of "First Comes The Wind", and couldn't find it in a local book store. Just a few days later I was at the post office and there was Margaret. I don't believe that was a coincidence. I introduced myself and told her that I wanted to know where to get a copy of her book. "I have it," she replied. "Come to my house. I'm in the phone book." I was so excited and honored to visit in her home. I took one of my friends, and Margaret shared stories with us just like we were old friends. We purchased several of her books, including her last.I will always remember that special visit.
I have just one more thing to share. My husband and I had been on a trip and were flying back to Wilmington. Flying makes me nervous, but when we boarded our flight I saw Margaret get on the plane too, and my nerves calmed down. I believed God certainly had his hand on her, so I was no longer afraid.
My sympathy goes to all of you in her family, as I am sure you will greatly miss this wonderful Godly lady, but I'm sure she is in heaven rejoicing.
martha hales
March 29, 2007
Margaret touched lives throughout the country with her writings and her talks. We will miss her encouraging and inspiring writings. Her book, Lena, was especially an encouragement to me during a difficult time. We mourn her passing, but we rejoice in the fact that she has been reunited with her loved ones who've gone on before, and that she is now in the presence of her Savior, whom she loved and proclaimed to all who heard her speak.
Sharon Burger
March 27, 2007
Your family is in my thoughts and prayers. God Bless and keep you
Jane Hankins
March 27, 2007
My deepest sympathy to the family of one if the most beautiful and precious ladies I have ever known.It was a great honor for me to have known and experienced the great love and wisdom of such an awesome lady. She touched my life in many ways during the years I had the honor of caring for her precious sister Doris. Her many kind words and works will remain in my heart forever. I will always treasure all of my letters and autographed books. I will also never forget all the touching times we had worshiping and singing together. I can only imagine Heaven with her and Mama, Papa, and that precious Doris!! She will be greatly missed here on earth but I thank God I had the privilege of knowing such an angel here on earth.
Kathy Edens
March 26, 2007
My heart goes out to yall. I hold your family close to my heart. If ya need anything just call.
Julie Woodard
March 25, 2007
Where do I start? I know the first book I read was: Lena. I was in awe of the simplicity and the realness of Margaret and Lena's faith. Faith that endured and faith that was so shared. Margaret "loved people to Jesus." And, for those of us that already knew Him--but were going thru hard times, i.e. watching our parents slip away day by day with cancer---Margaret Jensen encouraged not only the sick ones, but us, the family as well. I rec'd tapes, cards, books, letters, and my parents received phone calls.
And, you know,I thought: This must be what Jesus must be like. My brother in TX said it well, when he said "if there was ever a Christian Lady, it was Margaret Jensen."
But--you as family, know that better than any of us.
I just want to thank you all for sharing your mom with us. For being willing "to be written about". For sharing your family life, strengths, weakness, good times and bad.
Margaret was so REAL. She reminded us that "just because a person is a Christian" ---that does not mean that you will spared from LIFE. People will get sick, leave us, by choice or by death. People that we love, yes, even Christians will hurt us, disappoint us. Act in ways we don't understand.
But, she reminded us--Christians are not perfect...just forgiven.
AND that is where the Love of God comes in.
Margaret Jensen "lived her faith."
I think if I had to name one hero
Heroine---that I can't wait to see when I get to Heaven, (besides my Mama and Daddy, of course). My hero of faith and love and life is
Margaret Jensen.

I hope that Joyce will write a P.S. book form Margaret, "What I wish I had told you about my Tweeten Family, from her perspective of seeing her brother and all of her sisters HOME". and that Jan, with her gift of storytelling ,will share the next chapters of this wonderful Jensen family that stretches from coast to coast.

Margaret taught us much. Not the least of which was "How to Carry On.......
linda hildreth
March 25, 2007
I had the great pleasure of meeting this beautiful lady several times on her travels to and from Wilmington. I've never forgotten her and have thought of her often. May God comfort her family with the knowledge that she is with Jesus Himself.
Margaret Kye
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