Myrtle Jensen, 88, a resident of Fergus Falls, died Saturday, September 5, 2020 at Woodland Lodge in Fergus Falls.
Myrtle was born March 5, 1932 to Ole and Olga Njaa in Hagen, Saskatchewan Canada. She was one of eight children and grew up on a small family farm. After attending grade school in a local one room schoolhouse, she attended Saskatchewan Lutheran Bible Institute in Outlook, Saskatchewan where she graduated High School in 1950. After High School she attended Lutheran Brethren Bible College in Fergus Falls, MN where she graduated in 1952. While attending LBS, she met her future husband, Edgar, who was attending seminary at the Lutheran Brethren Seminary. They were married on August 21, 1954 and enjoyed 61 years of marriage together. Myrtle worked as the Dean of Women at Hillcrest Lutheran Academy for 5 years while in Fergus Falls.
In 1960, Edgar and Myrtle moved to Staten Island, NY where they lived until their retirement in 1999. Upon retirement, they built their dream home in Mt. Bethel, PA where they lived until 2014. In 2014 they moved back to Fergus Falls, MN to be closer to their daughter, Anne.
Besides raising their two children, Myrtle and Edgar were foster parents to six newborn babies through the Lutheran Mission in NYC. They would care for one baby at a time for various periods of time until a permanent family was found for each. It was always tough to give them back but what a blessing to be able to put each child on a healthy path forward.
Myrtle began her career as a part-time secretary at Clove Lakes Nursing Home on Staten Island and over 21 years worked her way up to Personnel Director. After Clove Lakes, Myrtle became Personnel Director at the Norwegian Christian Home in Brooklyn, NY, where her husband Edgar was the Administrator. They both retired in 1999.
Myrtle was very active in Bethany Lutheran Church on Staten Island where she held a variety of positions over the years and was the church volunteer organist for over 40 years. Myrtle also volunteered in numerous ways at Tuscarora Inn & Conference Center in Pennsylvania for over 30 years. Myrtle and Edgar had a deep passion for the ministry of Tuscarora and had an important part in its growth over the years. In the early years. Myrtle and Edgar would supply essentially all of the help for the weekends they were responsible for and would set tables, serve food, clean dishes, reset tables, and clean and prepare all of the rooms for the next weeks guests before returning home to begin their workweek. All without pay and grumbling. They always held a mission mindset in all that they did.
Myrtle’s true love was being a mother, grandmother, and ultimately a great grandmother. She would often carry her green “magic bag” when visiting her family. In her magic bag she would have games, puzzles or a craft for all to enjoy. There was always an excitement around what was in her bag each time. Myrtle was a great cook and baker and had many specialties including homemade sweet rolls, and Norwegian lefse. She loved to host family dinners and was quick to invite others into her home for a meal or a cup of coffee. She also enjoyed playing games and you never knew what she was going to come up with next.
Myrtle was preceded in death by her parents, husband, Edgar; sisters, Adeline Sollid and Margaret Hansen, and brother, Harry Njaa. She is survived by her children, Brian (Laila) Jensen of Staten Island, NY and Anne (Kurt) Frustol of Fergus Falls; five grandchildren, Lisa Britt (David) Mohlenhoff, Jenny Lynn Jensen, Heather Marie (Jesse) Neumann, Karin (Anthony) Savine, and Jason (Emily) Frustol; sisters Lillian Overland and Olive Stangeland; brothers, Leroy Njaa and Selmer Njaa.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Tuscarora Inn and Conference Center, 3300 River Road, Mt. Bethel, PA 18343. Phone (507) 897-6000.
Visitation: 9:15 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. at the church
Service: 10:00 a.m., Friday September 11, 2020 at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Fergus Falls, MN
Clergy: Reverends Mark Tungseth and David Veum
Interment: Oak Grove Cemetery, Fergus Falls
Olson Funeral Home in Fergus Falls is in charge of the arrangements.
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