Jeanette Jensen, age 89, of River Falls, died peacefully Nov. 4, 2023 at the Kinnic Health and Rehabilitation Center in River Falls. Jeanette, born on June 23, 1934, in Rock Elm Township, was a remarkable woman whose life was a testament to love, family, and enduring commitment. She was the beloved daughter of George and Matilda (Christensen) Larson, and she spent her formative years near Ellsworth, where she graduated from high school. It was during those younger years that she first met a young man who would later become the love of her life, Donald Jensen. On Nov. 8, 1952, Jeanette and Donald exchanged vows at English Lutheran Church in Ellsworth. This union would be further blessed with four sons. As their family blossomed, they built their home on the Jensen farmstead where so many memories were created.
With a shared vision, Jeanette and Don ventured into the world of business together. Don was a dedicated farmer, and worked on the family farm, Jensen Jersey Dairy in River Falls. In 1965, they took a bold step by purchasing the Coca-Cola distributing business, laying the foundation for Jensen Distributing. Five years later, they expanded their enterprise by acquiring a beer distribution, adding another facet to their company. Jeanette played a vital role by supporting the business and managing the company’s bookkeeping. Their tireless efforts and dedication resulted in the creation of a highly successful business, which they eventually sold in the early 2000s.
Beyond her work, Jeanette had a deep passion for her home and family. She was renowned for her culinary skills, particularly in baking Norwegian delicacies like lefsa. Her caramel rolls, red velvet cake, and meatloaf were cherished by all who had the privilege of tasting them. She was a gifted seamstress, sewing clothes for her sons when they were young and later making alterations for her grandchildren. Her love extended to quilting, and she found immense joy in gifting her handcrafted quilts to her friends and family.
Jeanette was a woman of many talents. She taught herself to play the organ and could perform a wide array of songs. Her artistic spirit led her to explore painting, and she self-taught herself watercolor techniques. Her artwork became treasured heirlooms, a testament to her creativity and passion.
But, most of all, Jeanette adored her grandchildren and was exceptionally proud of their accomplishments. Throughout her life, her Boston Terrier dogs, especially Willy and George, brought her companionship and comfort after her husband Don’s passing in 2003.
Jeanette was a loving mother to her sons Chris (Linda) Jensen, Guy (Julie) Jensen, and Lyn Jensen. She was a cherished grandma to Michelle Jensen, Garrett (Haley) Jensen, Samantha (Luke) Rose, David Jensen, and Dana Jensen. She is survived by many nieces and nephews. She joins the choirs of angels, reuniting with her husband Don, her son Dan (Nancy) Jensen, and her grandchildren Joseph Jensen and the stillborn twins, Amanda & Jennifer Jensen. She is also reunited with her siblings Leonard (Mae) Larson, Robert, Gerald (Dorothy), Bessie (Johnnie), Irene (Virgil), and Helen (Melvin).
A Funeral Service to celebrate Jeanette Jensen’s life will be held at 3 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16, at the O’Connell Family Funeral Home. A Visitation will be held from 1-3 p.m. prior to the service at the funeral home. Burial will be in the Greenwood Cemetery with her beloved grandchildren serving as casket bearers.
Funeral services have been entrusted to the O’Connell Family Funeral Home of River Falls, www.oconnellfuneralhomes.com, 715-425-5644.