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F. Genevieve ‘Jensy’ Jones

(Sept. 9, 1921 - July 29, 2012)

F. Genevieve “Jensy” Jones died peacefully in her home in Billings on Sunday, July 29, 2012, surrounded by her family. She was 90.

She was born at home on Sept. 9, 1921, daughter of Herman and Esther Nylander in Parnell Township (now Traverse County), Minn. One of six children raised on the family farm, Jensy spent her childhood on the farm and attending grade school in a one room schoolhouse.

She attended Wheaton (Minn.) High School, graduating at the age of 16. She worked on the farm and as a bookkeeper until she was old enough to enter nurses training at Peabody Hospital in Webster, S.D. After graduating as a registered nurse, she worked at that hospital, during which she met her future husband. She married William W. ”Bill” Jones on Feb. 28, 1944 and the couple lived in Clear Lake, S.D. until moving to Watertown, S.D.

While living in Watertown, the couple continued to work, Jensy as a nurse in the local hospital and Bill as an electrician for the city. Here they started their family, which would eventually include four children. In 1953 they uprooted their lives for an opportunity that awaited them in the wind-blown plains of Wyoming, near Midwest, north of Casper. The young family was raised at the Electric Plant, a company outpost north of Midwest, where Bill supervised the plant’s operations and Jensy contended with four children, sagebrush, rattlesnakes, and typical Wyoming weather, as well as numerous adventures with life-long friends, some of which cannot be told with aplomb.

The company, Amoco Production, transferred Bill and Jensy to Powell in 1958. Jensy continued with putting all four children through Powell High School while Bill worked for Amoco at the Elk Basin gas plant. They spent an eventful, happy, and memorable 48 years in Powell, forming many cherished friendships and enjoying Bill’s retirement years. The couple relocated to Billings in 2006 to be near their two daughters as well as to be near specialized medical facilities. Jensy’s life was unpended shortly after moving to Billings with the sudden death of her beloved husband in 2006.

Jensy was an accomplished pianist, able to play any song she heard by ear, and was known for a mean honky tonk/ragtime with an impressive left hand. She and Bill were inveterate entertainers, performing informally as a duo and in a colorful Powell kitchen band. She loved and appreciated many kinds of music, from classical to Johnny Cash to early rock ‘n roll. As part of her love of music, she strongly and enthusiastically supported the Red Lodge Music Festival, where she formed many friendships over the years.

Jensy was a gracious winner, and when challenged, loved a good game of cribbage, pinochle (especially at the Powell and Cody Senior Centers), Scrabble and Yahtzee. She loved to knit and crochet; her dishrags were freely and joyfully distributed to her friends, and her afghans were works of handcrafted art.

One of her joys was to sit around the campfire with friends and family after a day of fishing, especially with Bill and the boat on Big Horn Lake. Jensy believed in, and practiced, the now-lost art of letter and note writing; her longhand and personal letters were cherished and appreciated by all those lucky enough to receive them.

Jensy had a deep and abiding faith in our Lord. She encouraged and supported her children in nearly all aspects of their lives, despite their failings and setbacks, and always believed things followed God’s will. The cry of the loon symbolized her love of nature and her Minnesota roots.

Jensy was preceded in death by her beloved husband Bill; son Warren; and brothers Vinard and LeMoyne.

She is survived by her daughters Kathleen P. Jones and Beverly B. (Brian) Thorn; and son Richard W. Jones, all of Billings; sisters Miriam Medbery of Browns Valley, Minn., and Emma Crowe of Missoula, Mont.; and brother Fred Nylander of Moorhead, Minn.

A memorial service was held on Aug. 3, at Cremation and Funeral Gallery in Billings. Memorials may go to the Red Lodge Music Festival, PO Box 80268, Billings, MT 59108 or Riverstone Hospice, 123 S. 27th St., Billings, MT 59101.

Arrangements were by Cremation and Funeral Gallery. Condolences may be sent to the family at through “Our Families.”

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