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Published: Wednesday, 5/23/2007

Whitmer dean taught at other area schools

Jacqueline Jenson, 65, a longtime educator who was dean of students at Whitmer High School about 15 years, died of cancer yesterday in her West Toledo home.

She retired about two years ago because of her illness, her son Eric said.

Afterward, "she was definitely on a spiritual journey as far as understanding life and the death process," her son said. "She was just a beautiful woman, very loving, trying to make the world a better place."

Ms. Jenson and her twin sister, Jill Keller, were teachers, as was their mother, Helen Gordon. "It was something that was instilled within them," Ms. Jenson's son said.

Ms. Jenson had bachelor's, master's, and specialist degrees in education from the University of Toledo. She taught fifth grade at Nathan Hale Elementary School in Toledo, reading at Jefferson Junior High School in the Washington Local district, and English at Whitmer.

As dean of students, she was professional and by the book, her son said. "She was level-headed," he said. "She never got very upset about things."

Her sister said: "She was a very fair person and a very organized person."

"She was very grounded," her son said. "And I think that made her a better administrator in such a difficult position."

Books were her security blanket, and she read wherever she was, he said. She liked spiritual and self-help books. She was working her way through a list of 100 classic American novels, but read on a variety of subjects.

Ms. Jenson grew up on East Broadway in East Toledo and was a Waite High graduate.

She and Rowland "Rol" Jenson married in 1962. He died in 1982. She married Lynn Massey in 2000. They later divorced.

Surviving are her sons, Eric and Mark Jenson; sister, Jill Keller; and three grandchildren.

Memorial services will begin at 10 a.m. Tuesday in the Newcomer Funeral Home, where the family will greet friends beginning at 9. The family suggests tributes to the Hospice of Northwest Ohio; Toledo Area Humane Society; Cherry Street Mission, or Eastminster United Presbyterian Church.

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