Elena Mae Jensen, 66, long time resident of Roscoe, Mont., passed away unexpectedly at her home on the Rosebud Thursday, March 16, 2018.
She was the first-born child of loving parents James and Gladys (Espeland) Jensen on April 1, 1951. She grew up on the family ranch on Butcher Creek, attending school in Absarokee graduating Salutatorian in 1969.
Elena attended Billings Business School, University of Wyoming, worked at the Montana Developmental Center at Boulder, Mont., Yellowstone National Park, and later as a dedicated and well respected long time employee at Billings Clinic Hospital in both Billings and Red Lodge. She commuted countless miles for almost three decades.
Elena’s life took on special meaning when her daughter, Jenna Leigh was born in 1980. She was always amazingly gentle with children and animals alike. She was a natural and loving mother. Her joy was only surpassed when Jenna married Jay Foss of Buffalo, Wyo., and gave Elena three wonderful grandchildren, James, Jolene and Jace.
She made frequent trips to Buffalo to share in their birthdays, accomplishments and ranch life. She especially enjoyed their 4H success and sports participation. The goal in Elena’s life was to teach her grandchildren patience.
Elena loved riding her favorite horse, Pinto when she was growing up. She spent many happy hours with Pinto helping on the ranch or riding in the hills with her best friend and Cousin Kathy.
She loved her Shih Tzu dogs, and had four of them over the years that her brothers loved to tease (much to Elena’s annoyance).
Elena was especially known for her beautiful crocheted handiwork. She made many beautiful afghans and baby blankets. Her specialty, though, was her crocheted Christmas stockings. Every family member, whether married in or born into the family, could look forward to receiving one of Elena’s special, beautiful stockings. You knew you were officially part of the family when you received your Christmas stocking! She may have been working on it in the car on the way to Christmas Eve Dinner, but it was always delivered in time.
She was proud of her Norwegian heritage and enjoyed teaching her family how to make lefse at Christmas time. Her nieces and nephews always looked forward to her cookie baking parties. It was a free for all with flour, frosting and sprinkles. So much fun! Decadent, delicious desserts were her specialty.
Elena is survived by her beloved daughter, Jenna Foss (Jay) of Buffalo, Wyo., cherished grandchildren James 11, Jolene 8, Jace 7; three brothers, Douglas Jensen, Philip Jensen (Patti) and Mitchell Jensen (Joanie) all in the Roscoe area. Special nieces Mandy Evans (Chris) of Rose Hill, Mo., and Rachelle Pelton (Dirk) of Absarokee, Mont.; special nephews Levi Jensen (Kaci) of Gillette, Wyo., and Shane Jensen (Shasta) of Absarokee Mont.
She is survived by her six great nieces, Tymber Jensen, Remy Evans, Kendra Jensen, Violet Jensen, Sage Pelton, and nephews Coleman Evans, Rowdy Jensen, who all adored her. She is also survived by her uncles Clifford Espeland of Anaconda, Mont., and Wayne Jensen of Columbus Mont.; aunts Darlene Pond (Jim) of Columbus, and June Cumin of Rapelje, Mont. Elena also leaves behind many close cousins and friends who were all loved. She will be especially missed by her lifelong friend, cousin and confidant, Kathy Berscheid (Mike) Joliet, Mont. They shared a lifelong kinship and sisterly bond. Elena was preceded in death by her parents James and Gladys Jensen. Elena never forgot anyone and knew that a simple gesture showed great love.
The Jensen family were all members of the Immanuel Lutheran Church for four generations. Elena was baptized and confirmed in that church. It is only fitting that the final farewell and celebration of her life will be held there on Friday, March 23, 2018, at 1 p.m. A luncheon will follow at the church. A private family graveside ceremony will be at the Roscoe Cemetery.
Elena, we will all miss you terribly and the circle will not be broken in heaven. We look forward to the day we meet again.