Funeral Recording "https://audio.funeralrecording.com/embed/9d2c0c84-0bdc-11ee-a8da-0a2247262777">
Mary Elaine Sirstins Jensen, 88, passed away peacefully in her sleep during the early hours of June 8, 2023, at the home of her daughter in West Jordan, UT. At a recent doctor’s visit, the news was given that she didn’t have much time left on this earth. Since then, she has been surrounded by family and friends as they prepared for her return to her Heavenly Father. It has been apparent over the last few weeks just how many people Mary has touched with her witty personality and giving heart.
She was born on October 4, 1934, in Salt Lake City, UT to Max and Bertha Nowotny Sirstins. She had a simple life and grew up in Salt Lake with her 7 siblings and was the second youngest child. She had fond memories of getting ice cream and picking flowers with her neighbors and friends there. She graduated from South High School in 1952.
After High School she attended BYU where she met her eternal companion, Fred R Jensen. While Mary says it wasn’t love at first sight, they were engaged after only 2 short months of dating and were married 6 months later in the Salt Lake Temple on June 1, 1956. They started their family shortly after. First welcoming 3 boys, then twins (one boy one girl), followed by another girl and finally one more boy. They settled in Sandy, Utah and with a house full of 7 children, Mary’s days were busy. While the kids were growing up, she was able to stay home and care for them. She made a little extra money on the side by sewing at nights and taught her kids to work by helping them on various small item production jobs.
As her family grew older her hobbies included planning activities for her kids and grandchildren, visiting with her dear friend Marilyn, going to “club”, and shopping. She was a loving daughter and cared for her mom in her home for over 10 years. She enjoyed traveling to the Bay Area to visit her sister. She was a regular shopper at ZCMI, Nordstrom, and once she couldn’t get around as well, she mastered the art of ordering on QVC. She lived in the same house almost her entire married life until just 9 months before her passing. There she made lifelong friends. We’d like to thank Betty and Earl Brown for checking in on her over the years.
She loved halibut, to eat chocolate, was known to make up silly songs, had goodies hidden in every room, always had cash to sneak in your pocket, and loved Fred. She loved to harass him, but it was always Mary and Fred. They had 61 years together before he passed away in 2017.
Anyone who knows Mary, knows her number one priority was her family. She had a unique ability to be whatever each of her family members needed her to be. She was there for them when they needed support. She was stern when they needed direction. And she was ever so witty when they needed a laugh.
Mary loved to throw a party and found any reason to gather her family and spoil those she loved. For Easter, she would fill hundreds of eggs with dollars and change that took all year to collect. For Halloween, she would buy out Costco’s candy isle so her grandchildren could trick-or-treat from room to room in her house. For Christmas, (and it was Christmas Eve) she orchestrated progressive dinners that moved from house to house. Sometimes there was Santa, sometimes there was singing and scriptures but there was always lots of family. You could count on her traditions just like you could count on her unconditional love.
She was a devout member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She served in too many callings to mention but a few of them are Primary President, Young Women’s President, Relief Society President, temple worker for 23 years in the Jordan River and Draper Temples, and was a missionary with her husband in Ghana, Africa. She was a true disciple of Christ in the fact that while she was committed to her faith, she loved and welcomed those from all walks of life.
In this busy world, it can be easy to believe that one person can’t make a difference, but Mary, our grandma, mom, and friend, showed us that isn’t true. She was just one person but meant so much to so many. She could remember which of her grand kids didn’t like cheese, what hobbies her great grandchildren had, and what size shirt to get you for Christmas. She was able to make each of her 154 family members feel special and loved. She was a gift to us all and the glue to our family.
We “sure love ya” grandma, look forward to seeing you again, and hope there is plenty of chocolate in Heaven.
She is proceeded in death by her husband Fred Jensen, her parents Max Arthur Sirstins and Bertha Nowotny Sirstins, her siblings Max, Adolf, Hertha, Ethyl, George, and Jack.
She is survived by her brother John, her children Ron Jensen (Spanish Fork, UT), Dan and Julie Jensen (South Jordan, UT), Ken and Teresa Jensen (Newton, UT), Lynn and Jan Jensen (Phoenix, AZ), Mark and Lorrie Sandberg (West Jordan, UT) , Shauna Martin (North Logan, UT), Steven and Heidi Jensen (Mendon, UT), her 57 grandchildren and 85 great-grandchildren.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Cannon Mortuary. The celebration of her life will be held at the LDS Chapel on 1050 E Galena Dr, Sandy UT on June 15th. Viewing from 9:30-11:30 am, service to follow at 12:00 pm. Interment will follow at Memorial Redwood Mortuary and Cemetery, 6500 S Redwood Rd, Salt Lake City, UT.
The family wishes to extend gratitude to her nurses at Harmony Home Health and Hospice, Shannon Browning and Jamie Miller. Thank you for your kindness during this time.
In Lieu of flowers, please use the money and make a memory with your family because that is what Mary would have done and because she was allergic to everything.... we’d hate to give her an asthma attack on her first week in heaven.