Michael Ela Jensen, 56Published 10:16am Thursday, September 5, 2013
Michael Ela Jensen, 56, of Garden City, Ga., formerly of Mapleview, Minn., went to heaven on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013, from his home, after losing his battle with cancer.
Mike was born on Sept. 16, 1957, in Mountain Grove, Mo., to Alton and Thelma “Jo” (Hancock) Jensen. He married his wife, Charlotte Smith, on May 5, 1979, in Richland, S.C. Mike and his parents moved from Missouri to rural Austin, Minn., in 1957 and eventually settled in Mapleview. Mike attended school in Austin and Hayfield, Minn. He joined the army in 1975 and served until 1978. He was married in 1975 to Bonnie Jensen and later divorced. To that union, a daughter, Sasha, was born. In 1977, Mike met Charlotte Smith, and sons Daniel and Derick, in Savannah, Ga. They had two children, Donny and Christina.
Mike worked as a carpenter in the Garden City/Savannah area until he was disabled from cancer in 2012.
Mike was a great lover of nature and gardening. He had many flower and vegetable gardens, which were filled with all kinds of interesting and whimsical characters, antiques, pottery, etc. He loved landscaping. He was a wood carver, an artist and a musician. He played the guitar, harmonica, and the spoons. Mike liked to fish and hunt. He was a collector of antiques, Native American art and all kinds of oddities. Most of all, Mike loved his wife and family. His kids and grandkids were his pride and joy. Mike (“Mikey,” as he was known in Georgia) was loved by everyone who knew him and will be terribly missed by all.
Mike is survived by his wife, Charlotte, of Garden City, Ga.; his children, Christina “Sissy” Watson (friend, Cardell Saxon); Donny (Shannon) Jensen; Derick Smith (fiance Betty Lamberd); Daniel Smith, Savannah; and Sasha (Michael) Kennedy, of Joplin, Mo., grandchildren Trey, Emily, Cameron, Madison, Donovin, Carllee, Abigail, Daniel Jr., Anna Marie, Desire’ and Ava; mother, Thelma “Jo,” and stepfather, Leslie Stundahl, of Austin, brothers Sylvester “Sy” Jensen and Allan Jensen, of Albert Lea, Minn.; and “adopted” sisters, Sheila “Cheech” and Debi “Suzy,” of Austin.
Mike was preceded in death by his father, Alton Jensen, sister, Vicky, and brother, Alton Dale Jensen; grandparents, Walter and Anna Jensen and Simon and Esther Hancock; and several aunts, uncles and cousins.
There will be a celebration of Mike’s life at 2 p.m. on Sept. 14, 2013, at the Salvation Army Church in Austin, officiated by Captains William and Anne Mealy. Family visitation is one hour before service. Military rites by American Legion Post 91, of Austin. Blessed be his memory.