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Ruth Augusta (Roman) Jensen passed away at the age of 101 in the early morning of December 30, 2018 at Hitz Memorial Home in Alhambra, Illinois. She was born December 16, 1917 to her loving parents, Arthur Roman and Katherine Marie (Branding) Roman of Granite City, Illinois. She was preceded in death by her brother, Bruce Walter Roman, and her husband, Hans Anton Jensen. Ruth and Hans were married August 3, 1947 and started a family a year later. Laura Ann Jensen was soon followed by Alan Arthur Jensen and later by Jacqueline Marie (Jensen) Colyer. Ruth is survived by her three children, nine grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren, two great-great grandchildren, and 12 nieces and nephews.
In the early years, Ruth lived on their farm where she developed a deep appreciation for the natural beauty of the Mississippi River Valley Area. Even as a young girl she enjoyed long walks looking for colorful songbirds. After earning a degree from Blackburn College, Ruth began her teaching career at various elementary schools. One of her first jobs was at Nameoki Elementary School in Granite City, Illinois, as a kindergarten teacher. She later taught second grade at Mitchell Grade School. In the late sixties Ruth earned a Master’s Degree in Education from Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville campus. She continued to dedicate herself to teaching young children in the Head Start Program where she worked until her retirement.
During World War II, she met her future husband, Hans Jensen, who was stationed at Scott Air Force Base. Ruth’s mother, Katherine, often invited soldiers into her home to share a home-cooked meal prepared from the bounty of their orchards, and large gardens. During such a meal, Hans and Ruth met and their relationship blossomed. They promised to write letters to each other until Hans could return from duty in England. After the war, they married at the Roman home to begin 58 years of loving marriage.
Together, they were active in the conservation and the protection of wildlife, church activities, square dancing, and card games with friends and family. One of her favorite pastimes included research about the Jensen/Roman family ancestry. She was fascinated with the family genealogy and spent many hours writing biographies, and looking for information about family members. Other activities included her duties as president of Church Women United of St. John’s United Church of Christ, Old Six Mile House and Museum, and the local chapter of the National Audubon Society. She was an active contributing member of the Hemerocallis (Day Lilly) Society, and the Chouteau Township Hall Senior Center.
In accordance with Ruth’s wishes, her body was donated to Washington University to help further the medical profession. A Celebration of Life will be held at St. John’s United Church of Christ on March 23rd at 2:00 p.m. All who wish to help celebrate the life of Ruth are welcome. If you wish to honor her life, in lieu of flowers the family requests consideration of a donation to an environmental protection organization of your choice, to St. John’s United Church of Christ of Granite City, Illinois, or to protect the birds she loved by, for example, visiting the Audubon Native Plant database and choose a plant for your yard in memory of her life well spent.