Sharon Darlene Jensen, 83, of Albert Lea, passed away peacefully on Monday, July 3, 2023, at St. John's Lutheran Community in Albert Lea after a 4-year battle with Alzheimer's Disease. A memorial service will be held at 1:00PM on Wednesday, July 12, 2023, at Bonnerup Funeral & Cremation Services, with Pastor Matthew Griggs officiating. A visitation will be held prior to the service, from 11:00AM to 1:00PM, at the funeral home.
Sharon D. Jensen was born on June 7,1940, in Forest City, Iowa. The oldest of two children born to Arnold and Marion (Meehan) Holstad. She attended Bristal Rural Church with her parents and brother and was baptized in the Lutheran faith on June 17,1954. Sharon attended Lake Mills Public School, graduating in 1958. Growing up in Winnebago County, Sharon’s parents were Tenant Farmers for most of her childhood, moving every March to a new farm to live and raise the crops. Sharon’s parents purchased the last farm they occupied in the mid 1940’s putting an end to the annual move. If you were curious why Sharon always disliked spring, now you know!
After spending a year on the farm after high school, Sharon moved to Albert Lea. She entered the Naeve hospital nursing program, and eventually found her way working as a dental hygienist assistant with Dr. Aus in Albert Lea. Shortly thereafter, Sharon met a young man that had just returned from 4 years of service in the United States Navy. He was a tall, slim, handsome fella named, Jerry. On September 1, 1962, Jerry and Sharon were married at the Salem Lutheran Church in Lake Mills, Iowa. They lived in a small apartment on Vine Street in Albert Lea until Jerry found the house they would call home in Lerdal in 1964.
After settling into their new home, Sharon left the workplace in 1966 to raise her family. Sharon was the glue that held the Jensen family together and she successfully managed the household while raising three boys. She was a devoted wife, and mother, active in all aspects for her sons’ lives growing up. Sharon served as Room Mother, 4-H leader, Sunday school teacher, chaperon on many field trips and countless other roles. Sharon worked for the Albert Lea Area Child Care Center for nearly 10 years after her youngest son entered junior high school. In 1994, she again choose to leave the workforce this time to care for her granddaughter, starting the role she deeply cherished: “Grandma.” She provided unconditional love, kindness, and support to all her grandchildren, along with numerous other children that affectionally called her “Grandma Sharon.” All the kids that had the blessing to spend time with Grandma Sharon enjoyed countless hours making crafts, homemade playdough, baking cookies and bars, painting, playing cards and board games- especially YAHTZEE and UNO!
After Jerry retired in 1999, the couple enjoyed many trips and excursions with family and friends including many winters in Sun City, Arizona, vacations to Mexico and Alaska and, of course, attending the grandkids’ events wherever they might have been. Sharon enjoyed serving her church, gardening, quilting, baking, decorating her home for every occasion, her bridge club, having coffee with countless folks, and spending time with her friends. Above all, her family was always her top priority.
Sharon’s compassion for all, gentle personality and loving kindness will be missed by all who loved her. Her care, love and devotion to her family will be missed the most.
Left to cherish her memory are her husband of nearly 61 years, Jerome Jensen of Albert Lea; sons, Thomas and his wife Judy of Clarks Grove, Robert and his wife Lisa of Clarks Grove; grandchildren Rachel Augustine and her husband Kyle of Albert Lea, Samuel Jensen of Hollandale, and Zoie and Aiden Jensen of Clarks Grove along with numerous close friends and extended family members.
Sharon was preceded in death by her son, James “Jimmy” Jensen; parents, Arnold and Marion Holstad; father and mother-in-law, Earl and Esther Jensen; and brother, Allen Holstad.
The family would like to thank all the staff at St. John’s Lutheran Home for their outstanding care of Sharon for the past 3 1/2 years, and to Brittany and the St. Croix Hospice staff for making Sharon’s final days with us dignified and peaceful.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are preferred to be made to the family for distribution to meaningful organizations.