JESSIE JOANN (McDONALD) JENSEN crossed the last river into Heaven at her home on Hardtrigger Ranch behind Given’s Hot Springs on November 5, 2017, surrounded by family and the prayers of friends and loved ones. She was born on August 26, 1932 in Muskogee, Oklahoma to the widowed lay preacher Jesse Stanton McDonald and his second wife Eldee Mae Lamascus McDonald of Cherokee descent. Joann was one of four children to this marriage, the only girl among brothers. She grew up with her older step brothers and siblings around extended family in Oklahoma where she learned many farm living skills that served her well through life. Her father was a sheriff among a variety of different jobs and eventually was employed as a guard on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington State. Her parents moved the family to Richland, Washington where Joann completed High School. After graduation, Joann briefly attended Northwest Nazarene College Nampa, Idaho where she hoped to train as a medical missionary. She returned to Richland and got work at Hanford as a lab assistant and was eventually introduced to James L. “Jim” Jensen on a blind date, he was a U.S. Army guard at Hanford at the time. She was 19 when she married Jim in his hometown of Boise, Idaho in April of 1952 at the First Assembly of God Church on the corner of Main & 18th Streets. They began raising their family in Boise where Jim took a job with the US Postal Service.
In 1964 Joann expressed interest in being a missionary to the Eskimos of Alaska, so Jim transferred with the Postal Service to a position in Anchorage, Alaska. The family moved up in the months that followed the earthquake that had devastated the area. Joann loved people and was very involved in both her church and the community; she taught Sunday School and VBS, helped with Women’s Ministries and prayer groups, participated in an Art Guild in the Anchorage area and taught nutrition to the Eskimo people through Health & Welfare. She was well loved by all.
The family returned to Idaho in 1972 just after Jim & Joann went with their Alaska church to help build a tabernacle in Japan. Back in Idaho they bought a farm in Owyhee County and raised cows, pigs and various crops near Given’s Hot Springs. Joann worked both in and out of the home and was skilled in gardening, canning & sewing. She was both frugal and creative and knew how to make many things from scratch. She cooked at the Marsing Job Corps and was Coordinator at the Marsing Senior Center from 1978 -1994. Joann made everyone feel “at home” with her welcoming attitude, wonderful meals, lovely decorating skills and paintings. She went out of her way to create memories with family.
Her loving family look forward to seeing her healed and whole in Heaven one day and include: James “Skip” (& Robin) Jensen, Jr. of Cordova, Alaska; Wayne (& Maggie) Jensen of Phoenix, AZ; Mark (& Angela) Jensen of Given’s Hot Springs, ID; Gordon Jensen of Cordova, AK, as well as all 13 Grandchildren, 3 step grandchildren, and 18 great grandchildren.
Idaho State Veterans Cemetery
10101 North Horseshoe Bend Rd.
Boise, ID 83714
November 10, 2017
Dakan Funeral Chapel
504 S. Kimball Ave.
Caldwell, ID 83605