Elva Jensen of Centerfield passed away on Thursday, May 27, 2021, at the age of 92. Our beloved neighbor, friend, piano teacher, church leader, grandmother, mother, and wife—Elva Jane Jensen—was born on February 20, 1929. The Jensen Family history records that Elva came into the world with dark hair and eyes and grew under the watchful care of two sisters and five brothers. 1929 was the first year of the great depression, but depression had little to do with how Elva lived through it. Her favorite pastime was bending the ear of any willing listener with tales of no money, hard work, faith, family, and a simple house on a little farm that produced a bumper crop of love and memories.
Elva maintained a long list of “Dear Hearts and Gentle People” that she lovingly remembered by name for their goodness and generosity, such as all of her teachers at the Centerfield Elementary School, including her first-grade teacher—Ruth Barlow. Even through the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease, Elva remembered making dolls out of holly-hock blossoms and animals out of milkweeds. She remembered school plays and summer Sunday afternoons on the lawn with a freezer of ice cream. These tales have beguiled many listeners into believing that those “Old Times” were really the best times, even though Elva admits (with a bit of pride) that they didn’t have electric lights in her home until she was eleven.
All of these things infused Elva with an enduring sense of gratitude and optimism. She learned early that going without something usually meant getting something better. She learned that circumstances had nothing to do with happiness and that investments in things that last—faith, friends, and family—really paid big dividends. The living and recounting of these glorious days carried Elva through and gave her happy memories to pass on to her children and her grandchildren.
She was the senior class president at Gunnison Valley High. She went to Snow College before marrying her sweetheart, Mardell, in the Manti Temple. The phrase “she was active in her church” does not even come close to conveying all of the hours, meals, and joy in service that this one-time Relief Society president, perennial church organist, sometime Sunday School teacher, first in the building—last out of the building member of the Centerfield and Axtel wards that Elva was throughout her life. She thrived in raising her family, serving her neighbors, mentoring young people, visiting old people, and calling distant relatives late into the night. Her signature phrases of “I am SOOOO glad to see you!” And “can I fix you something?” Will forever ring in the ears of everyone who met her. She was ever hopeful, ever grateful, and ever faithful. Her lasting legacy is that she has always given and “hath kept none for herself,” as she has always preferred the “angel’s portion” of all that is good.
Elva was preceded in death by her beloved parents, Alex and Christena Jensen, all of her siblings (Margaret, Rignel, Robert, Ivan, Zelma, Eugene, and Moyle), and all of their spouses, all of her in-laws (Miles, Mildred, Norma, Gail, and Berneice), and all of their spouses. She is survived by her husband of more than 70 years, Mardell Jensen. We are confident that Elva’s devotion to her husband, family, and faith continues on into the eternities. To the very end, her family was the subject of her every thought and conversation. Her children—Marcia (and Sergio) Rico, Laree Mecham, Keith Jensen, and McKay (and Amy) Jensen: her grandchildren—Tyler (and Keri) Walker, Kenny (and Jilleen) Walker, Erik (and Stacie) Rico, Justin (and Karina) Rico, Jasmin Rico, Michael (and Sierra) Mecham, Shara (and Brandon) Olsen, Zach (and Kara) Jensen, Lauren Jensen, Lily Jensen: her great-grandchildren—Jessika, Derik, Alex, Shelise, Emmalou, Jensen (on the way), Tyzack, Madison, Eladee, Aker; her great-great-grandchildren—Brassin, Kastyn, Kysslee, and hundreds of nieces and nephews, and thousands of adopted grandchildren, all thank her neighbors, friends, and acquaintances that have made her life so rich.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, June 5, 2021 at 12 Noon at the Centerfield Ward Chapel in Centerfield, Utah where friends may call from 9:30 am and 11:30 am. Burial will be in the Centerfield Cemetery. Funeral Directors: Magleby Mortuary, Richfield, Salina and Manti. Online guestbook at www.maglebymortuary.com
A special thanks goes to the staff at Mission at Community Living care center in Centerfield for their kind attention to Elva.
We Love you Grandma. We love you Mom.
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