Gwen Ileen Jensen, nee Ogden, peacefully left this life surrounded by her family, on the fifteenth day of September, two thousand twenty-two. Gwen was born to Nellie Ileen Nielsen and Astor Mackay Ogden, on the 15th of December 1942 in Fillmore.
Gwen first met the love of her life, Douglas Ray Jensen, having moved in directly across the street from his front door, when she was only eleven years old and knew from that day on where her heart would call home. Their marriage was solemnized in the Salt Lake City temple on the 19th of December 1961. Life together began at Utah State University in Logan where Douglas would earn his PhD in electrical engineering and was soon employed by the US Navy as a civilian scientist. They left Utah with their two children, Tracy and Michael, to begin a 33-year residence in San Diego, California. A daughter, Kristen, and a son, Stephen, joined the family soon after. Gwen’s children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were her pride and joy.
Gwen’s upbringing included moving from “pillar to post,” from Utah to Washington State and back again and even an influential time in Occupied Japan. Gwen was raised with a love for music and had a passion for color, design (especially Asian) and the arts. She played the piano and was a 2nd chair violinist for the San Diego County Symphony Orchestra. She even dabbled in oil painting. Gwen graduated from San Diego Mesa College in the Spring of 1987 with an associate’s degree in interior design and started her own venture, Gwen Jensen Interiors. She was honored with the opportunity to help beautify the San Diego temple by choosing and arranging floral pieces in preparation for its dedication. Her favorite creation was a vase full of red roses placed just outside the Celestial Room, which for her beautifully represented the atonement of Jesus Christ.
Above all, Gwen loved her Savior. She dedicated eight years to her calling as a seminary teacher. Her students called it “Cemetery” because it was in the early morning hours before school, and now grown adults, they still call her Sister J. She never said no to a calling extended by the church and over the years she has served as ward Relief Society president, Primary president, stake Young Women’s president, family history specialist, and as a temple worker in both San Diego and Manti. She was always quick to say that her favorite callings were as a teacher, with Gospel Essentials and Gospel Doctrine being her favorite classes. Gwen was privileged to serve a full-time mission with her beloved companion. Once retired and settled in Richfield, Elder and Sister Jensen were called to be the CES Directors in the Baltimore, Maryland Mission. Their efforts resulted in a noteworthy increase in attendance for Institute of Religion classes at John Hopkins University and the University of Maryland and more importantly for them, marriages for their students.
Richfield became home again for both Doug and Gwen in the fall of 2000. Like Doug she soon became involved with many local projects. Years of “Christmas Tree Lane” service inspired her determination to see a community Christmas tree at Richfield City Park complete with an official lighting ceremony; we now enjoy its yearly appearance. She also served as the camp secretary for Daughters of Utah Pioneers. She loved spending time with Douglas at Fish Lake and was especially proud of her Nielsen family property near the peak of Monroe Mountain. Douglas and Gwen twice hosted tours of their house in the Christmas Home Show to benefit our local crisis center for women. Christmas was an undeniable passion for her. Beginning in July, whether you were ready or not, you would be listening to Christmas music. She will forever be remembered for her eagerness to share her testimony and love of the restored Gospel and by extension her joy when celebrating the Savior’s birth at Christmas.
In addition, it would certainly be a disservice to Gwen to neglect mentioning the special place in her heart for farm animals and gardening. In fact, a proud possession is a blue ribbon she won at the Sevier County Fair for a prized rooster. She is dearly loved and will be greatly missed by her living family as we embrace the peace of knowing she is happily back in the arms of her eternal companion.
She was preceded in death by her sweetheart, Douglas R. Jensen; her parents; and her grandsons, Dylan Douglas Jensen and MacGregor Scott Douglas.
She is survived by her sisters and brother: Karen Beardall, Donna Ogden, and David Ogden; and her children: Tracy and Derek Hopper, Michael and Becky Jensen, Kristen and Andrew Douglas, and Stephen and Julie Jensen; and her 20 grandchildren and her 14 great- grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held Monday, September 26, at 10:30 a.m. in the Richfield 2nd Ward Chapel, 675 West 200 South, with a viewing from 9 to 10 a.m. Burial will be in the Richfield City Cemetery. Funeral Directors, Magleby Mortuary, Richfield, Salina and Manti. Online guestbook at www.maglebymortuary.com.