Mary Louise Jensen thumbnail

Mary Louise Jensen

June 5, 1930 - July 24, 2018

Mary Louise Anderson Jensen


Born: June 5, 1930
Died: July 24, 2018


Mary Louise Anderson was born in Medford, Oregon on June 5, 1930 to Perry Allen Anderson and Mildred Mary Marlette Anderson. She passed away July 24 in Portland, Oregon at the age of 88.


Mary Lou lived in Hillsboro for her childhood years, graduating from Hillsboro High School. She attended Northwest Nazarene College in Nampa, Idaho.


Mary Lou worked for many years for Tektronix as an administrative secretary in the corporate offices, ending her career at the Oregon Graduate Center. She was an active member of the First Church of the Nazarene from the age of ten, participating a variety of roles, but especially the music program.


Mary Lou is survived by her children: Shannon Greene (Tom), Shelley Sohriakoff (Jim) and Todd Jensen; grandchildren: Brittany Stolle (Kevin), Peter Sohriakoff (Caitlin), Sara Szymanski (Jarek) Anna Sohriakoff, Christopher Greene, and Thea Jensen; greatgrandchildren: Josephine and Theodore Stolle, and Greta and Steven Sohriakoff; brother Martin Anderson (Inge), cousin Wendy Collins, a host of nieces and nephews and family friend, Norma Lock.


She was preceded in death by her husband of 55 years, Paul M. Jensen, her parents, sister Doris Anderson, and step-mother Amanda Anderson.


A memorial service will be held at 2 pm on Thursday, August 23, 2018 at Portland First Church of the Nazarene. Private interment will be at Sunset Hills Cemetery.
Arrangements by Holman’s Funeral Service.


Tribute to Mary Lou Jensen

Memorial Service: August 23, 2018

Good afternoon. I am Shannon Greene, Mary Lou’s oldest child. On behalf of my sister and brother, and extended family, thank you for attending today to pay tribute to our beloved mother, Mary Lou.


I also want to thank Shelley and Todd for allowing me the privilege to speak about our mother.


As I look around this sanctuary I am reminded of the connection our mother had to this church community. Our mother became part of this congregation at the age of 10, faithfully attending for 78 years until just a few months ago. Her father, Perry Anderson, was a dedicated church member deeply involved in the building of the downtown church location. In fact, the scripture on the walls on either side of this sanctuary was donated in his memory.


Mary Louise Anderson was born in 1930 in Medford, Oregon, the youngest of 3 children born to Perry and Mildred Anderson. She joined older brother Dee and sister Dory. Shortly after her birth, the family moved to Hillsboro, Oregon where her father was the manager of the local J. C. Penney store. Their home was close to the center of that community, but still had space for a horse and a goat. According to our mother, she was always outside with her dad and the animals, while her older sister, Dory, preferred to be inside with their mom.


Coming out of the depression, our grandfather was quite frugal, even though the family was fortunate that he had a good job. However, he insisted on the importance of a strong work ethic. Our mother told of working every summer, picking all types of berries, beans, nuts in order to save money for school clothes. This is one activity that did not pass to the next generation. However, our mother remained frugal throughout her life, even when she didn’t need to be. She was always careful about money she spent on herself, but was extremely generous with her children and grandchildren.


Mom graduated from Hillsboro High School in 1948. While there she was a cheerleader and sang in musical groups.


After high school graduation mom attended Northwest Nazarene College, where she met Paul Jensen. One evening our dad was out with a friend and they saw two cute young college students. They both wanted to ask the same girl on a date, so they flipped a coin. Our dad lost the coin toss, so he asked our mom out instead. I think we were the big winners! It was during that time at college that mom’s mother passed away.


Paul and Mary Lou married in 1950 and in the next 7 years had 3 children: Shannon, Shelley and Todd. Our family lived in NE Portland and during that time mom was involved in our school activities, including the PTA at Kennedy School; of course, this was before Kennedy School was a pub. In the mid-1960s our family moved to Beaverton.


Our mother provided a happy and loving home environment. We had parents who loved each other. We felt like we lived a charmed life. We often had guests in our home and recall many evenings with friends and hearing our parents laughing and enjoying themselves while playing cards.


Mom was always willing to try something new. As a youngster I remember being so impressed that she could play a song called “Glowworm” on the piano. This was remarkable because mom wasn’t a pianist, but since she really wanted to play this popular Miles Bros. song, she taught it to herself. She also tried to teach us a variety of things. I vividly remember her attempts to teach Shelley and me how to do a cartwheel. She would execute cartwheel after cartwheel perfectly out on the lawn, but we were never successful. Mom was spirited and independent!


Our family was very involved in the church and mom participated in a variety of programs. When we were young she led the junior choir and directed the vacation bible school program. However, her greatest interest was the music program of the church and she was a faithful choir member for many years. She also sang with various musical groups during this time, her favorite being the New Life Singers. She was one of the early organizers of a monthly program for seniors, then called First Tuesday, that continues to this date. She spent hours each month planning the program.


Mom worked part-time when we were young, but eventually began working full-time for Tektronix and worked as a secretary in their corporate offices. When her boss moved to the Oregon Graduate Center, she went there as well.


For years, mom and dad were avid Trailblazer fans although we were never sure if mom really liked those season tickets as much as dad did.


Mom and dad loved to travel and they traveled throughout the world: Australia, Africa, Europe, Scandinavia, British Isles, the Holy Land. But mom really loved Hawaii and we lost count of the number of their vacations there. She loved the warm weather and we called ourselves the “summer girls”, a label that my daughter and granddaughter now use. She loved their yearly time in Palm Springs with Dory and Norma and especially loved that the grandchildren would visit each spring vacation. There were summer family trips with children and grandchildren to Sunriver. One highlight for mom and the entire family was celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary in Hawaii. Mom continued her Palms Springs visits and traveling after dad died, both with friends, children, and grandchildren.


Mom was a caregiver. She cared for our dad when he was ill and stepped in to help care for two sisters-in-law when they needed her. She was patient and kind-hearted.


Mom was an avid gardener, and one thing she missed in the time since she moved from her Claremont home was the inability to work in the garden. She mentioned that often. Even though Shelley moved flower pots to each subsequent location where she lived, it just wasn’t quite the same.


Mom was a great friend. She and dad formed so many long-lasting friendships over the years. They had a special group of friends from college and early married years and those friendships literally lasted a lifetime. We spent so many hours of our childhood with those families: the Cowleys, Hills, Krausses, Johnsons, Ludlows, and Dory Anderson and Norma Lock. However, all the children in those families became good friends and remain friends, and many of you are here today to celebrate mom’s life.


Mom continually made new friends throughout her life. Mom loved her life group at church and so looked forward to the weekly meetings and attended as long as she could. Even after she couldn’t drive, her friends would make sure she had a ride. She loved attending Sunday services and Norma faithfully took her each week. She loved her Sunday school class, and Minnie would always greet her with a cup of coffee. And in mom’s last days, she so appreciated the support of good friends like Norma, Jan, Mac and Marlene and Dick and Carolyn who regularly visited and made such an effort on her behalf. She often remarked how lucky she was to have such good friends. You will never know how much you meant to her.


Mom was a devoted grandmother. She knew what each grandchild needed and had close relationships with all six of them. By example, mom showed us what it took to be a good parent, and then how to be a good grandparent.


In her last few years as the dementia and advanced macular degeneration gradually worsened, she wasn’t able to do many of the things she had always loved. But she was cooperative, sweet, and rarely complained.


Whether or not we realized it at the time, our mother instilled in us the values of hard work, caring for others, integrity, character, education. When thinking about the legacy of our mother, we think of those values and realize that her greatest gift to us was the example of a life well-lived. Those important values she learned from her parents have been passed down to us and hopefully we have passed them to our children.


Mom was a quiet, dignified, elegant woman. She avoided the limelight, preferring to make a difference behind the scenes.

Our mother passed peacefully on July 24, with Todd at her side. She will be missed so much by all who loved her.

She is survived by:

Children and their spouses:

  • Shannon and Tom Greene
  • Shelley and Jim Sohriakoff
  • Todd Jensen

Grandchildren and spouses:

  • Brittany and Kevin Stolle
  • Peter and Caitlin Sohriakoff
  • Sara and Jarek Szymanski
  • Anna Sohriakoff
  • Christopher Greene
  • Thea Jensen

Great grandchildren:

  • Josephine and Theodore Stolle
  • Greta and Steven Sohriakoff

Brother and sister-in-law: Martin and Inge Anderson

Cousin: Wendy Collins

Close Family Friend: Norma Lock

And a host of nieces and nephews

She was predeceased by:

  • parents, Perry and Mildred Anderson,
  • husband of 55 years, and our dad, Paul Jensen,
  • sister, Doris Anderson
  • step-mother, Amanda Anderson.


One final thought:

Mom turned 88 on June 5. She didn’t remember that it was her birthday, and was appalled when I reminded her how old she was. I found what I thought to be just the perfect birthday card for her. She couldn’t read the card because of her macular degeneration, so Shelley read the message to her. I knew she wouldn’t remember the sentiment later, but my hope was that when she heard it she would be able to understand, in that very brief moment, how very much she was loved and admired.

The sentiment on the birthday card read:

I know a woman of strength and beauty. I have watched her for years. She is my mother.

Service Information

Service Information

Date: Thursday, August 23, 2018

Time: 02:00 pm

Portland First Church of the Nazarene


6100 SW Raab Rd
Portland, Oregon 97221

A memorial service will be held at 2 pm on Thursday, August 23, 2018 at Portland First Church of the Nazarene. Private interment will be at Sunset Hills Cemetery.

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