Mary Ellen Bang Jensen

  • Birth 26 Jul 1928 Minden, Kearney County, Nebraska, USA
  • Death 13 Dec 2012 Minden, Kearney County, Nebraska, USA
  • Burial Minden, Kearney County, Nebraska, USA
  • Memorial ID 102271812

Mary Ellen (Bang) Jensen, 84, of Minden died Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012, at her home. Mary Ellen was born July 26, 1928, in Minden to Roy and Ellen (Petersen) Bang.

In August 1949, she married Richard Jensen. He died in 1993.

Survivors are: daughters, Diane Jensen Bettge of Alta Loma, Calif., and Jane Jensen Christensen of Minden; sons-in-law, Frederick Bettge and Mark Christensen; grandchildren, Amanda Jensen, Dillon and his wife, Alyssa, and great-grandson, Jackson, Laurel Jensen Previtt and her husband, Jerry, and great-grandson, Landyn, Ericka, Tyler and Dustin Bettge, Chelsea Jensen, Emily Jensen Baughman and her husband, Jon, and great-grandson Lucas, and Andrew Jensen; nephews, David, Larry and Tom Bang; niece, Jill Bang; several cousins; and many, many friends.

She graduated from Minden High School in 1946 and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with an associate's degree in English and business.

She worked as a bookkeeper for a few years and then continued her schooling at Central Nebraska Technical College where in 1972 she received her licensed practical nurse degree. She worked at the Minden hospital for many years and did home nursing upon her retirement.

She was a member of Westminster United Presbyterian Church all her life and sang in the choir for 55 years. In the 1960s, she sold saving stamps in the Minden and Upland schools and became affectionately known as the "Stamp Lady."

Mary and Bev Clay taught CPR for a number of years and led Minden first- graders on get-acquainted tours of the Minden hospital emergency room. Many volunteer hours were spent at the Red Cross Bloodmobile, Bethany Home, the Minden Opera House, the Kearney County Historical Society, the Jensen Library, the Minden Senior Center and the Meals on Wheels program.

She enjoyed the many hours spent at the spinning wheel at Harold Warp Pioneer Village and meeting tourists from all over the world. She also helped at the Candy Store at Pioneer Village and so was dubbed the "Candy Gram" by her California grandkids when they would visit.

In 1976, she became a "teacher" for one hour a year. Minden third-graders would receive a lesson that Mary would teach based on stories of the pioneers and the Native Americans of Nebraska from her father's book, "Heroes Without Medals." Mary gave her yearly lesson every year - next May would have been her 37th year. She "took her act on the road" (her phrase) and taught her lesson for her grandchildren's third-grade classes in Juniata and California twice. She would save the Minden students' thank-you notes and return them as a high school graduation gift.

She was a 50-year member of the Moab Chapter 94, Order of the Eastern Star. She joined the order in 1946.

Mary was a beloved rule-breaker. As a child she was a fearless tomboy. At age 8, the Bang family did not yet have a dog, so Mary decided to fulfill the duties and bit the milkman.

In high school, college and all her adult life, Mary continued to be fiercely independent and also fiercely opinionated. There was little doubt how Mary felt about various topics - she would always let her voice be heard, even if her point of view was unpopular. There was a confident boldness deeply embedded in her character.

When she decided to pursue her lifelong passion for nursing, she was 42 years old and had essentially raised her four children. She touched hundreds of peoples' lives with her compassionate care. Mary did not just nurse peoples' bodies - she healed emotions and souls as well.

After retirement and with Richard now gone, Mary turned to cruises as a favorite vacation activity with her family. She took the entire clan to Hawaii as a summer gift in 2006. She saw Alaska twice, again taking various family members along as her generous gift. She often talked, at least somewhat seriously, about moving to Wrangell, Alaska, because it was just like another Minden, except in Alaska.

Mary was incredibly active in her faith and in Westminster United Presbyterian Church activities. She believed in service to many volunteer activities, but the church and its members benefited in so many ways from Mary's generous gift of her time and talents.

She will be missed greatly by family, friends, her church and her community.

In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her son, Lynn, daughter-in-law, Debra, and grandson, Elijah, in 1998; son, Steven in 2004; grandson, Jason in 1995; brother, Jim Bang in 2001; and sister-in-law, Bobbie McGregor Bang in 2001.

Published in Kearney Hub on December 17, 2012

Family Members






  • Created by: CPR
  • Added: 17 Dec 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 102271812
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Mary Ellen Bang Jensen (26 Jul 1928–13 Dec 2012), Find A Grave Memorial no. 102271812, citing Minden Cemetery, Minden, Kearney County, Nebraska, USA ; Maintained by CPR (contributor 46798335) .