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1941 Donna 2021

Donna Jensen

May 27, 1941 — September 24, 2021

Obituary of Donna Elaine (Ridenour) Jensen

Donna Jensen age 80 of Purdum died September 24, 2021, at the Callaway Good Life Center.

Funeral services will be Wednesday, September 29, 2021, at 2:00 PM at the United Church of Christ in Purdum. Burial will follow at the Purdum Cemetery. Memorials are suggested to the United Church of Christ or the Parkinson's Foundation. A visitation will be held on Tuesday 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM at Govier Brothers Mortuary in Broken Bow and Wednesday 12:00 Noon until service time at the church in Purdum.  Online condolences can be left at 

Donna was born on May 27, 1941, to Ray and Mae (Marsh) Ridenour in Mullen, Nebraska. The youngest of nine children, Donna always loved to be in the center of the action. She graduated from Mullen High School in 1959 and moved to the ranch near Purdum after her marriage to Bill Jensen in 1960.

The proud morn of two sons, William Raymond and Bernard Lee, Donna enjoyed helping both boys with their 4-H projects and you could always hear Donna cheering on the sideline when Billy or Bernie played sports. In fact, at a district wrestling meet in Arnold, Donna's loud yelling and very close proximity to the wrestling mat resulted in her being firmly escorted by the Sandhills coach back to the bleachers with the rest of the spectators.

In addition to helping Bill on the ranch, Donna worked at the Halsey Forest. Many of the trees on the ranch today are the discarded trees Donna was allowed to bring home from work. She was also named a top Avon salesperson during those years. Donna would joke that many of her Sandhills neighbors found out quickly the only way to get her to leave their house was to buy an Avon product.

For several years, Donna also helped operate the grocery store/cafe in Halsey. Then in 1971, Donna began her long and successful career in the postal service when she was named Assistant Postmaster at Purdum. Donna's strong work ethic and leadership led to her promotion to Postmaster at Purdum and she later served as Postmaster at Potter, Hyannis, Arnold, and Ainsworth, making lots of great friends at each town.

Donna was an active member of the National Association of Postmasters in the US (or NAPUS) and never missed a postal convention. Those conventions took her all over the United States, from Alaska to Texas and California to Boston. She was elected President of NAPUS and considered a generous and valued mentor to new postal employees. Postmasters around the nation also spoke highly of her expertise in organizing the most fun and often rowdy bus trips. Donna never knew a stranger and loved to make others laugh - she was famous among the postal group for her practical jokes and wicked sense of humor.

Donna enjoyed being part of a bowling league for many years and loved to golf. She was known for her delicious cinnamon rolls, steadfast dedication to buying Powerball & scratch tickets, as well as her love of Rum Chata and Husker football. Donna's home was always open to anybody - especially kids  who wanted a good meal or place to stay. It wasn't unusual for her to have a half dozen or more hungry teenage boys around the table. In addition to Billy and Bernie, Donna considered Kurt, Paul, Shaun, and Eldon her boys as well.

After her retirement from the Postal Service, Donna continued her love of travel, and did an excellent job of spoiling her grandkids and great-grandkids. She may have battled against Parkinson's for years, but never let it get in the way of her sense of fun and laughter.

Donna was a long-time member of the Women's Fellowship at the church in Purdum. Her family would also like to thank the kind staff at the Good Life Center in Callaway and Asera Care Hospice for the wonderful care they provided to Donna in her final years.

Donna is survived by her sons Billy Ray (Lauri) of North Platte and Bernie Lee (Susie) of Overton; grandchildren Tori, Cash (Melody), Caleb (Alaina), and Jacob; and great grandchildren Joshua, Ava, Holt, Carter, Waylon, Haizlee, and Jaton. Also cherishing memories of Donna are lots of nieces and nephews, as well as countless friends, neighbors, and postal colleagues.

Donna is preceded in death by her parents, siblings, and husband Bill.


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