Margaret Jensen died April 22, 2009. She was born March 27, 1914 on a farm 3 miles from Bainville MT, during the worst blizzard her father ever saw—or so he teased her. She was the 3rd of 4 children born to George Loran and Sallie Elizabeth Livesay Piercy. She attended Lanark country school, beginning at age 4 since she cried so much when her sister went off to school. In 4th grade, they began attending town school—and that year she picked out her husband, William Elmer Jensen. They married in 1939. She graduated from Missoula (then Montana State University) with a degree in English. She taught for 2 years in Culbertson before marrying Bill. They moved around for a few years, settling in Billings in 1944, when their only child, Lawrence George (Larry) Jensen was 3 months old. Bill was an engineer at what is now ExxonMobile refinery until he retired. Their second job was as outdoor photojournalists. He photographed in color; Margaret in black and white. She wrote the articles and submitted them to magazines for publication. Their last article appeared in 1978, just before Bill died.
Margaret was a wonderful person. In the early 1950s, Bill’s parents moved to Billings to be near their son. She cleaned, took them to doctor appointments, and made their lives better. She also did things for her sister-in-law and two nephews. Her son, Larry, had Cystic Fibrosis and because of her research into the disease and great care, he lived to be almost 50, dying in 1993.
For the last several years, as vascular dementia took hold, Margaret has lived at St. John’s Lutheran Home. Her favorite visitor was her dog Kezzie. The staff at Langemo cottage gave her a great life. The family thanks them most sincerely.
Margaret was a sincere believer in college education. She established the William E and Margaret E Jensen Presidential Scholarship at the University of Montana in Missoula. Her personal funds helped make college more affordable for many nephews and nieces; as well as for some family friends.
Margaret is survived by her sister Eudora Fulkerson of Washington, her sister-in-law Beulah Smestad of Arizona, her daughter-in-law Joyce of Billings and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Bill, her son Larry and two brothers (Loran and John, aka Windy, Piercy).
Services for Margaret will be held at First United Methodist Church at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday May 2 after internment at Mountview Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to First United Methodist Church (2800 4th Ave N; Billings, MT 59102), St. John’s Lutheran Ministries (3940 Rimrock Rd; Billings, MT 59102), U of M Foundation (P.O. Box 7159; Missoula MT 59807; for the Jensen Presidential Scholarship) charity of your choice.