|Honored by:||Sandy Jo Messingham|
|Brick location:||E:17 map|
"Grandma Jensen" Agnes Florence Swanson Jensen 1906-1997 Sometimes along life's journey you meet a person who touches your life in a very special quiet sort of way- giving something of themselves to you to mold into your life or personality. That's how it is with Grandma Jensen. Florence was born in Camanche, Iowa in 1906. She graduated from Clinton High Schooland attended Iowa State College from 1923-1926.
In 1926 she taught school in Clinton County. She met Holger Jensen of Ames while they were both students at Iowa State. They were married for 62 years and farmed north of Ames. Florence had 8 children, 27 grandchildren, and 42 great grandchildren. She was known as "Grandma Jensen" not only to her family but also to everyone who knew her both young and old.
For 17 years Florence gave her time encouragement and love to Gilbert students (K-6). When she was at school teachers referred students to her for the special help she could provide on a one-to-one basis. When children ran to hug her you knew how special "Grandma Jensen" was in their lives. Florence believed that every child could succeed. She set up the Grandma Jensen Keep Trying Scholarship which is awarded every year to a Gilbert senior who might not be at the top of the class but who overcame academic or other struggles in school. Giving unselfishly of herselfand dedicating her life to helping others was "Grandma Jensen's way of living. She was instrumental in organizing the 50+ club for Senior citizens in Gilbert. She was active in all areas of church work teaching Sunday School for 20 years. At age 77 after having both knees replaced she walked in a jog-a-thon and raised money for the Gilbert Athletic Fund. At age 78 she taught Junior High Sunday School.
She touched the hearts of many individuals with her gift of writing poetry. Whether it was happy times celebrations sad times national tragedies or just moments to appreciate daily living her thoughts flowed from her heart into her poems. She received the "Friend of Education" award from the Gilbert School the Governor's Volunteer Award and the "Woman of the Year" award from Beta Sigma Phi. Though she has been awarded for her dedication and service she will long be rememberd for her love shown to so many peole beyond family and friends.