She was born to David A. and Josephine M. Thorndike on April 10, 1933, in Tonasket, Washington. She attended school in Tonasket until the age of 14 when the family moved to Oroville. She graduated from Oroville High School in 1951. After high school she attended Central Washington Deaconess School of Nursing where she graduated as a Registered Nurse in 1954. She continued her career as an RN for 42 years working at Deaconess Hospital in Wenatchee, Pullman Regional Hospital in Pullman, and Columbia Basin Hospital in Ephrata.
In January 1955 she took a chance on a blind date and met Francis E. Jensen. They married on June 13, 1959. She and Francis moved to Pullman and upon Francis’s graduation from Washington State University they moved to Soap Lake, where they lived and raised their four children (also known as the 4 roses).
Joan was well known throughout the community and was active in many programs supporting the kids in their sports and school events, Camp Fire Girls, (which she established in the Soap Lake area), Cub Scouts, Coast Guard Auxiliary and the United Methodist Church. She was also active in the National Association of Retired Federal Employees. She was extremely proud of the unique qualities of Soap Lake itself and was active in the Soap Lake Conservancy. The Jensen home was always open to friends and family with open arms and many thought of her as a second mom. She was very gifted in listening and support for all who needed it. Nieces and nephews could always count on a spaghetti dinner when traveling to or from college.
Joan is survived by Francis, her husband of 63 years; her four children, Maria (Gary) Brady, Jeff, Doug (Carmen) and Julia (Mike) Anderson; six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren, as well as her two sisters Eleanor (Kenneth) Gausman and Joyce (Duane) Ward and many nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her parents and her two brothers, Theodore and Donald Thorndike.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, October 29th at 11 a.m. at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 1012 C Street SW, Ephrata. If you are unable to join us, please celebrate her life with a cup of hot chocolate with lots of whipped cream and sprinkles.
Please express your thoughts and memories for the family at www.nicolesfuneralhome.com.