Cover photo for Reverend Nancy Jensen's Obituary
Reverend Nancy Jensen Profile Photo

Reverend Nancy Jensen

March 3, 1953 — May 3, 2024

Reverend Nancy Jensen

***The slideshow and service recording are posted below the obituary.***

Reverend Nancy Jensen, 71, of Atlantic, Iowa, passed away peacefully at her home surrounded by family, Friday, May 3, 2024, after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer.

Rev. Nancy Lee Whalley Jensen was born March 3, 1953, in Fremont, NE, to Donald Robert and Phyllis (Thompson) Whalley. Nancy graduated from Fremont High School in 1971, and Midland University in Fremont in 1975, with a double major in psychology and religion and a minor in English. Nancy earned her Master of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York City in 1978. She was ordained into the ministry on December 18, 1977, at the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Fremont, NE.

Receiving a call to serve the Federated United Church of Christ in Exira, IA, and the Congregational United Church of Christ in Anita, IA, Nancy started with both churches on July 1, 1978, pastoring the Exira church 28 years and the Anita church 18 of those 28 years. On May 1, 2007, she began serving the United Church of Christ of Atlantic, IA, retiring on October 1, 2020.

On June 9, 1979, Nancy married Dale L. Jensen at the Federated United Church of Christ in Exira. The family milked cows for many years and then began custom feeding cattle, along with crop farming throughout those years. They lived in the family farm home that had been in the Jensen family since 1919, raising their five children there. Nancy and Dale moved to Atlantic, IA, in August of 2009. After Dale retired in 2015, they were able to enjoy traveling to Maine three times, Alaska twice, Colorado twice, and Florida numerous times.

Throughout her years in ministry, Nancy took many opportunities to expand her education through training as a Stephen Ministry Leader, as a Spiritual Coach, and through grief and forgiveness training. Learning new pieces of information in the Scriptures always brought her joy, and her greatest love was developing worship services and sermon series, bringing God’s word alive for her congregation. Seeing people grow in Christ and leading people to make the choice to invite Jesus to be Lord of their lives brought her the greatest fulfillment.

Nancy sought out what it meant to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and she tried to use her gifts to glorify the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Writing and photography were two of her joys. During the Covid months, Nancy wrote what eventually became her book, “Victorious Vibes,” as a way to be supportive to people during those trying times. She had a good photographic eye and loved to try and capture the “perfect” picture. Many of her photos are part of “Victorious Vibes” as well. 

Nancy recently shared that her husband was a fantastic partner in their 45-year life together, and she was blessed in so many ways with his loving care throughout her cancer journey. She deeply loved her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, and was proud of each of their unique gifts and talents. She tried to put family first, going to all the kids’ sports, chorus, band, and speech events, plus 4-H and cattle shows. Making sure birthdays and holidays were special, Nancy liked to create memorable traditions, like birthday waffles, the Thanksgiving Tree, and crazy Easter Egg hunts.  

Nancy was preceded in death by her parents, Donald R. and Phyllis Whalley; father-in-law, Melvin Jensen; mother-in-law, Willa Jensen; brother, Daniel Whalley, and son-in-law, Greg Fry.

She is survived by her husband Dale Jensen of Atlantic, IA; children, Greg Jensen and wife, Carrie of Audubon, IA, Jennifer Fry of Montreal, MO, Ann Hinners and husband, Larry Jo of Manning, IA, Adam Jensen and fiancé, Sarah Irlbeck of Manning, IA, and Heather Newman and husband, Daniel of Atlantic, IA; seventeen grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.  

Visitation with the family present will be held from 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., Monday, May 6, 2024, at the United Church of Christ in Atlantic.  
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, May 7, 2024, at the United Church of Christ in Atlantic.   Burial will be held in the Exira Cemetery following a luncheon in the church fellowship hall.

The service will be livestreamed on the United Church of Christ of Atlantic, IA Facebook page and will also be recorded and available on the funeral home website by noon on Wednesday.

In lieu of flowers memorials are encouraged to be directed to the family for designation at a later date.  

Roland Funeral Service is caring for Nancy’s family and her arrangements. Condolences may be left at www.rolandfuneralservice.com.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Reverend Nancy Jensen, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Visitation

Monday, May 6, 2024

4:00 - 7:00 pm

United Church of Christ

1607 Hazel St, Atlantic, IA 50022

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Funeral Service

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Starts at 10:30 am

United Church of Christ

1607 Hazel St, Atlantic, IA 50022

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Burial

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Exira Cemetery

Exira, IA 50076

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