Mary Lynn Blackett Jensen passed away on February 13th, 2021 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Mary Lynn was born on July 20, 1941 in Springville, Utah to Russel and Margaret Hadley Blackett. She grew up in Springville and graduated from Springville High School in 1959. She was always outgoing and friendly to all. Mary Lynn dated Marvin Jensen during her senior year in high school and they were married on December 17, 1960. Their son Russell was born March 9, 1963 and their daughter Mary Kay was born on October 20, 1965. Mary Lynn enjoyed her life with her family as they frequently moved with Marv’s career in the Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service. She made the world a better place.
In her younger years Mary Lynn was the consummate tomboy, frequently causing mischief with the pranks she and her cousin Grant schemed up. She was always sought after for neighborhood football and baseball games and was tough to beat in a foot race. She had beautiful long braids that were often a source of pain from a whack on the head with the brush her mom was using to tame them each morning. Some of her cherished childhood memories were going to work with her Dad who owned a construction company where she would ride shotgun on his old cable rig backhoe. With her mom and sister Kay, many hours were spent canning anything and everything, probably not her favorite childhood memories.
Marvin and Mary Lynn were the perfect match, working together to raise their family and be successful professionally, always with undertones of fun and love. Marvin’s career in the National Parks took them from Utah to Arizona, California to Alaska, Wyoming to Colorado. Her favorite parks were Grand Canyon, Glacier Bay and Yellowstone. She was the poster child of “blossom where you are planted.” Mary Lynn made friends everywhere they went and created a home where Russ and Mary Kay felt loved and safe. She worked as a bank teller, special education assistant, and for the Natural History Associations in a couple of the parks, but magnified her favorite “job” as a mom. Mary Lynn never met a stranger and in fact could keep a wrong number on the phone for 20 minutes. Her exceptional life was really about service and helping others, she saw needs that no one else noticed and filled them with love and service. Something that really defined her later in life was her talent at home decorating- especially for holidays and seasons. She prepared amazing meals and served them on beautifully decorated tables. In fact a few of those meals were served to folks like Al Gore, John Denver, Ted Turner and Jane Fonda during the years they spent in Yellowstone National Park.
One of her greatest joys were her grandsons Sam and Eli which is primarily why they settled in Henefer, Utah upon retirement, to be close to them. She was fiercely loyal and protective of those young men. As always, she would do whatever it took to make them smile, a trait that goes back to her beginning. Mary Lynn never wanted to see anyone sad or troubled and for sure no one arguing; she was a peacekeeper. It’s worth mentioning that Mary Lynn’s instincts were love and kindness, a part of her fabric.
Some of her favorite things were sports of all kinds (she kept a lawn chair in the trunk of the car just in case she passed a ballgame along the way), a good tease, baking cookies to give away, time with family, making new friends and any opportunity to be kind. She was a life-long member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and served in various capacities. She served twice as Relief Society president which is noteworthy while they were in New Mexico as it was a 45 minute drive to get to meetings and give service/care to those in need.
She has struggled with Alzheimers long enough— 7 years to be exact and probably longer, truth be told. We have missed her so much and now with the final departure will miss her even more, but we are happy for her to be free from the shroud of the horrible disease that took her from us long ago.
Mary Lynn is survived by her husband Marv, son Russell (Tammy), granddaughters Danika and Cheyla Anderson, daughter Mary Kay (Mike Crittenden) and grandsons Sam and Eli Crittenden. She is predeceased by her parents Russel and Margaret, sisters Jane (Kirt Jensen) and Kay (John Smith) and brother Kent (Wendy). The family would like to express deep gratitude to the wonderful staff of the memory care unit at Avamere at Mountain Ridge. We owe a debt of gratitude to Chante with Canyon Home Car and Hospice, our angel to watch over Mom especially while we couldn’t because of visiting restrictions. Due to the pandemic, there will be a private family service. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Grand Canyon Trust or your favorite charity in her name.
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