The last page has been turned, chapter ended, on the life of Rachel Thompson Jensen.
Rachel was born on Nov. 4, 1926, in Moroni, Utah, to Chauncey and Pauline Thompson. She was the oldest of six sisters: Camille, Joan, Mary, Pauline, and Helen. They were always close and later in life loved having sister reunions. The sisters acquired the affectionate nick- name from one of their spouses of the “Gaggling Geese,” because of their lively interactions.
Throughout her life, Rachel always enjoyed school and was blessed with a desire to learn. She was co-valedictorian at Ephraim High School, and valedictorian at Snow College. As a child, Rachel loved outdoor activities, particularly bicycling, participating in 4-H, and camping out.
During her junior high, high school, and college years, World War II was an ever-present shadow. Halbert K. Jensen, a fellow classmate, joined the Merchant Marines right out of high school and served in the Pacific theater. Rachel received a scholarship from the University of Utah and planned to attend college there in the fall of 1945. However, when Hal returned from the war in the spring of 1945, he asked her out. After a whirlwind romance, they were married on Aug. 23, 1945, in the Salt Lake Temple.
Rachel worked as a secretary to help put Hal through Snow College, then the University of Utah. They lived in various places, including Gunnison and Manti; then Georgia and Colorado, after Hal entered the Army to help with the Korean Conflict. While there, Rachel again worked as a secretary at the military base.
After Hal completed his service, the couple was pleased to return home to Sanpete where Hal taught at Snow College and Rachel worked as a secretary for the Forest Service. Rachel attended the University of Utah, then the University of Missouri, where she completed her Bachelor of Science in Education. Later, she earned a Master of Science in Business Education at Brigham Young University.
Rachel and Hal were thrilled to have the opportunity to adopt three children: Steven, Jana, and Diana, who have the sincere pleasure of calling Rachel their mom. Rachel’s greatest joy was loving, visiting, and serving those in her family, and those around her.
Rachel worked for 19 years in the Business Education Department at Snow College, where she enjoyed teaching and mentoring young minds as a professor.
Rachel loved to travel, she was a multi-talented homemaker, gardener, decorator, and hostess. She loved reading, playing piano, collecting recipes, cooking. Rachel also loved to sew, embroider, crochet, knit, and quilt. Small things brought her contentment and enjoyment in life – beautiful flowers, the flight of birds, a new recipe, an enjoyable book, and time spent with family and friends.
Rachel was a woman of timeless strength, intelligence, dignity, and class. She loved God and her Savior and served in various positions in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, throughout her life.
Rachel was actively involved in providing public service and participating in civic organizations, including: Daughters of Utah Pioneers, Snow College Campus Women, AAUW, American Legion Auxiliary, PTA, Culture Lore, Au Courant, and Phi Kappa Phi.
In March 2000, after 53 years together, Rachel’s sweetheart and companion, Hal, passed away at the age of 73. Rachel found strength and comfort in her faith and belief that, through temple ordinances, their marriage and love will continue throughout the eternities. After Hal’s death, Rachel actively managed the families’ rentals at Parkade Plaza, and their farmland – properties she and Hal had worked long and hard to acquire.
Rachel lived to see almost a century of wars and times of peace, political leaders and tyrants, advancements in civil rights and liberties, threats to the same, and great medical and technological changes and advancements. She read and watched the news daily and was a wellspring of information about historic and current events.
Rachel “graduated” from this life into the next on July 28, 2022, at the age of 95 years. She will be dearly missed by those left behind.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; her sister, Joan Judkins; her grandson, Kyle Owens; two great-granddaughters, Aubrey Jensen, and Kaitlee Prestwich; 11 beloved brothers/sisters-in-law; and many friends and family.
Surviving Rachel are her three children: Steven (Terry) Jensen, Jana Prestwich (Kevin) Gross, and Diana (Jef ) Huntsman; four of Rachel’s sisters: Camille Picciotto, Pauline (J. Wayne) Francis, Mary Simpson; and Helen Swensen; five brothers/sisters-in-law, including J. Wayne Francis, Charles and Barbara Jensen, Inge Jensen, and Jean Jensen; 14 grandchildren; 34 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022, at 2 p.m. at the Ephraim Stake Center, located at 400 E. Center Street, in Ephraim. Family and friends are welcome to visit the family earlier that day at the same location, from 12:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., as well as on Friday, Aug. 5, 2022, from 6-7 p.m. Burial will be in the Ephraim Park Cemetery following the service. Online guestbook and live streaming can be found at http://www.maglebymortuary. com under Rachel’s obituary. Funeral Directors: Magleby Mortuary, Richfield, Salina and Manti.
The family wishes to thank those who loved and supported our mom throughout her life, especially in her final years. In particular, her wonderful neighbors, John and Joan Meade, and Sara and Brylen Montoya; her faithful church ministers, Phil Murray, Glen Greene, and Sandra Cox; our mom’s sisters and closest lifetime friends, Camille, Joan, Mary, Pauline, and Helen; her beloved children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren who made time to include her in their lives; and all of her dear friends and extended family.