Jensina Rasmussen

Obituary of Jensina Johanna Jean Rasmussen

Jensina “Jenna” Rasmussen, 85, of Minneapolis, passed away peacefully June 13, 2024 at Suite Living in Brooklyn Park after a short battle with cancer. Jenna was born to Fredrick R. Rasmussen and Jean Winonah Babcock-Cosgriff Rasmussen in Glencoe, Minnesota on April 10, 1939.   Jenna took her paternal Grandmother's name, Jensina Johanna Miller Rasmussen, a Danish immigrant.  The Miller family immigrated from Denmark to Minneapolis in the late 1800's. She also took her Mother's first name Jean.  Jean's matriarchal lineage dates back to 1642 with the arrival of the English James Babcock to the “New World.”

Jenna was a talented musician. She had a beautiful contralto voice and singing was her first love when it came to music.  At a school event she was spontaneously asked by her choir director to sing “Sometimes I feel like a Motherless Child.”  Fellow students and faculty remembered there wasn't a dry eye in the house.

She also studied piano and organ, traveling monthly to Minneapolis for instruction.  She played both instruments and sang solo's and in the choir for services and events at the Congregational Church of Glencoe, Minnesota as well as events at Glencoe High School.  She also played saxophone in the Glencoe High School Band and Marching Band.

After high school, Jenna moved to Minneapolis. She worked for Travelers Insurance as an underwriter for years before retiring in the 90s. Afterwards, Jenna enjoyed volunteering and working at Meet Minneapolis promoting the city she loved.

Jenna also loved singing with the City of Lakes Barbershop Chorus of Minneapolis beginning in the 1980's. She loved singing bass, the rehearsals, the songs, the chorus members, the costumes, the directors but most of all the competitions. She participated in dozens of International Sweet Adeline Competitions from Nashville to Honolulu. It was her “happy spot” in life. 

Another great focus in her life was animal welfare. She was far ahead of the world in the desire to defend and care for animals of all types. On a family trip to Mexico City, Mexico in 1954, our family attended the cultural event of a bullfight.  Jenna was enraged at the treatment of the bull.  She cried for the plight of the bull in this—what to her—was horrendous torture.  She even yelled out against the practice which prompted other audience members to laugh and hiss at her.  Jenna was horrified by what she saw as torture of the hapless bull.  

She filled her life with a series of “fur babies” beginning with Pacho, a wild, enthusiastic small Jack Russell terrier cross.  Then came Tacito, Runtie, silver haired Axel (named after the early 1950's black and white children's TV show called Axel and His Dog, broadcasting from Minneapolis), then Molly, a yorkie, Gus, a poodle and finally, her loyal companion, Leo, a terrier mix. She was a proud supporter and contributor to the Golden Valley Animal Humane Society. 

Jenna trained Leo to become a therapy dog.  Leo loved visiting the sick at the University of Minnesota hospital as part of the dog therapy program. Jenna loved being able to participate in the program and make her beloved Leo available to patients, nurses, doctors, grieving friends and family and all the staff at the U of M hospital. It was another “happy” place.  Jenna was devastated when Leo predeceased her in 2021.

Jenna wanted nothing more than to meet Leo and the others on the Rainbow Bridge.  Well, now, Jenna, there you are.  You were extraordinarily funny, a character and a half, and a real pistol. You will be missed. 

Jenna is survived by her brother Rick (Celestine) Rasmussen of Desert Hot Springs, CA, her sister Beth Rasmussen of Honolulu, Hi., her nephews Tyler Rasmussen Phillips of Dana Point, CA and Carter Phillips of Olympia, WA. Jenna is also survived by her loving and loyal friend, Jill (Jim) Johnson of Brooklyn Park, MN.  Jill has worked tirelessly to help Jenna though the last year with efficiency, dedication, fun and her “fur baby” named Chloe.  Jenna's last year was graced by Jill's dedication.  Jenna was preceded in death by her parents and her sister, Judy. 

Thank you to the kind, loving staff at Suite Living and Suite Living Hospice for treating Jenna with love, respect and grace in her final months.

There will be a private memorial service for Jenna in California, with family, at Jenna’s request. Memorials in memory of Jenna preferred to the Golden Valley Animal Humane Society.

A Memorial Tree was planted for Jensina
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Cremation Society Of Minnesota | Brooklyn Park