Sandra “Sandi” Jensen was born in December 1946 to Swen and Irene (Walz) Carlson of Karlstad, MN. She told stories of being raised on the family farm; her memory of an electric light pole being installed when she was young, having to haul water because the house had no indoor plumbing, building muscles bailing hay, and the necessity of a strong work ethic. She completed high school in 1964 at Northwest School of Agriculture in Crookston, MN and beauty school at Bernel Hairstyling College in 1965.
On Valentine’s Day 1965 Sandi married Les Jensen at Salem Lutheran Church of Stephen, MN. The two first met while she was working on her uncle Carl’s farm. They lived in Grand Forks ND, Sioux Falls SD and had two children. They relocated to Monticello MN in 1975, where Sandi worked for 23 years in the local school district as a teacher’s aide for children with special needs.
Her years living on Cedar Lake she enjoyed the water, sitting on the dock to soak in the sunshine, paddle boating in the summer and cross-country skiing in the winter. She kept flower gardens and was proud of her many Showy Lady Slippers, the Minnesota state flower. Sandi was an avid reader, often completing multiple books each week. She enjoyed many hobbies including; sewing, embroidery, baking, cross-stitch, refinishing furniture, and working on home improvement projects.
Retirement began in 2000 with a move to Cordes Lakes AZ, achieving the long-awaited goal of living in a warmer climate. Retirement included her morning three-mile walk; often followed by a stroll to the library, a hike to enjoy nature, or a trek into the surrounding wilderness. She and Les had the opportunity to vacation and explore across the country, visiting friends and family along the way. When Sandi learned her local library might be permanently closed, she formalized the non-profit organization Friends of the Cordes Lakes Public Library. Her efforts included fund raising, working with elected officials, land purchase, and the acquisition of a new library building. These successes have brought about a thriving, growing library with many diverse community programs.
Sandi was diagnosed with grade IV Glioblastoma Multiforme in 2017 and fought a brave, strong battle against this aggressive type of brain cancer. She was able to be at home with the care and comfort of family. Sandi, age 72, passed away at home following Christmas 2018.
Sandi is survived by her husband of 53 years Les Jensen; her children Tracy Jensen and Curtis Johnson of Salt Lake City UT, Tanya and Shig Yoneda of Laguna Niguel CA; grandchildren Kiku and Ben; siblings Bryon Carlson of Lake Bronson MN, Sonja and Dan Simonson of Eveleth MN; many family and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents Swen and Irene, and brother Danny.
Memorial Service for Sandi Jensen will be Saturday January 12th, 2019 at 11:00am. To honor and remember Sandi, please join us at Mountain of Faith Lutheran Church (20135 East Stagecoach Trail, Cordes Lakes, AZ 86333). The Memorial Service will be followed by a light lunch at the church.
The family is grateful for condolences but declines flowers (at Sandi’s request). In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be directed to Sandi’s favorite charity: Friends of the Cordes Lakes Public Library.