Barbara Vee Olsen Jensen, 89, wife of the Late Richard “Dick” LaVar Jensen, returned to her Heavenly Father from her home on December 1, 2023. Barbara was born on Thursday, April 19, 1934 in Ephraim, Sanpete County, Utah. She was the 11th child, 5th daughter, of James George and Bellmay Bessey Olsen.
In her early life she enjoyed many happy times with her family, working hard and learning the great work ethic she was so proud of. She was proud of her heritage as a farmer’s daughter and had to do many tedious and difficult jobs on the farm. On July 5, 1942 her papa baptized and confirmed her a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Many years after, she considered this to be the most wonderful experience of her life.
She graduated from what was called Snow College Lower Division, because the Snow Upper Division were freshman and sophomores in college. They did not have a high school that they could attend, so they went to Snow College for their last two years of high school. After Barbara graduated from Snow College Upper Division, she received her bachelor’s Degree from USU. Barbara taught P.E. and Typing at Manti High School for one year. That summer, she went back to school and received her Elementary Teaching Certificate from BYU. Barbara was a South Sanpete Elementary School Teacher for 37 years. She taught 3rd,4th, 5th, and 6th grades in Ephraim, Gunnison and Manti Elementaries. Many of her students greeted her with hugs and “You were my favorite teacher.”
Barbara married her sweetheart, Richard LaVar Jensen, on October 18, 1957, in Ely, Nevada. They were sealed in the Manti Temple on February 23, 2006. Dick and Barbara made their home in Manti. To this union, there were born two boys and 5 grandchildren. Her posterity includes Douglas Lavar Jensen (Christine)- Derek, Alec, and SheaLa; Brent James Jensen (Sonnie) – Jett and Jake.
Barbara taught elementary school during the day and kept books for Jensen Excavating at night. She did the accounting for Dick’s company, which she was fantastic at.
Barbara loved her family. Her grandsons, Derek and Alec were able to live with her for part of their youth. She also tended Jett and Jake daily for the first 8 years of their lives. Grandma Barbara was a huge part of her grandsons’ upbringing. She had an impact on the men they are today.
Barbara was a super booster of the Boys Scouts of America. Between Doug, Brent, and Jett, she also earned 3 Eagle scout awards. She served as a Manti City Council member and loved her community.
Dick and Barbara loved camping and fishing at Koosharem, and Otter Creek. They loved spending time with Brent’s family, camping and Dutch-oven cooking for many weekends during their summers.
Barbara enjoyed watching the Utah Jazz. Many nights her schedule held appointments to watch her team. Often, nothing else would come between her and watching the Jazz . Barbara loved reading! When she lost the biggest part of her vision, many hours were spent on audio books and still enjoying reading through assistive technology. Up to the last week of her life, she would say, “Jett, I need another story.”
In her retirement years, Barbara enjoyed visiting and sharing her wisdom with others. She volunteered in Sonnie’s Classroom for 12 years helping her students with reading. Barbara was as dependable as a volunteer as she was an employee. She was a teacher for the entirety of her life, teaching and sharing the knowledge she had.
Barbara will be missed not only by her family, but also by her sister, Mary Jean Daniels; brother-in-law, Don (Linda) Jensen; and sister-in-law, Sheila Jensen; along with many nieces and nephews. Barbara was preceded in death by her husband, “Dick”; and her parents; also nine of her brothers and sisters.
The family would like to thank Sanpete Valley Intermountain Hospice for the care and support in this time. The family would also like to thank family and friends for their love, prayers and support.
Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, December 13, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. in the Manti Tabernacle, 90 South Main, Manti, Utah. Viewings will be at the Tabernacle on Tuesday, from 6:00-7:00 p.m. and Wednesday from 9:30-10:30 a.m. Burial will be in the Manti City Cemetery. Funeral Directors: Magleby Mortuary, Richfield, Salina and Manti. Online guestbook at www.maglebymortuary.com