Jane Jensen

Jane Jensen, a lifelong resident of Kirkwood, MO and active member of St. Peter’s Church passed on 10/25/2020, at Bethesda Dilworth. Jane died of Covid19 related complications.

Jane was the youngest child of Otie Linn Durbin and Dr. Howard Durbin of Kirkwood Missouri. She married William Ayers Jensen on September 10th 1960. Nana D, Jane’s mother, told her she should not have an engagement longer than a year, so they set the wedding date based on the day they met. Ironically, Jane, a lifelong democrat, met Bill the previous year (almost to the day) at a young republicans meeting. Bill saw the error of his ways after voting for Nixon – the last republican Bill would ever vote for. Bill was the love of Jane’s life and they were happily married for 19 years until his untimely death in 1979. Together they built a life in Kirkwood raising 4 daughters: Susan Carpentier(Jeff), Dr. Molly Jensen(Alan Ostner) Alice Jensen(Jason Krena), and Dr. Sarah Jensen. Jane has six grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren: Daniel Carpentier, Emily Callis(Andrew, with twin boys Howard and Harvey), Reed and Phoebe Ostner, Oliver and Lila Krena.

Although devastated upon the unexpected death of her husband Bill, Mom lived an active life. She returned to work to support her 4 daughters (at the time 17, 15, 6 and 5). Jane worked as a secretary at the Museum of Transportation where she worked until retirement some 20 years later. Retirement agreed with mom, she proceeded to throw herself into volunteering in her community. Mom saw the value of her time and knew how to put it to good use. She would rock babies born to addiction at the hospital, serve the hungry and homeless at the St Patrick’s Center and of course attended and volunteered at the St Peter’s church.

Jane’s Catholic faith was a very important part of her life. She was very active and always helped others through St. Peter’s. Jane referred to herself and her church friends as “the 6:45ers,” because she attended mass every day at that time, followed by breakfast and fellowship at Spencer’s Grill in Kirkwood.

Jane taught us, her children, that there was always someone worse off than yourself, she taught us all to look out for others and to always offer a helping hand. Jane was a doer and always jumped in to help. It was through her actions that we learned gratitude for what we had in our life and to strive to see a world that included a better life for everyone. As Susan, the oldest daughter, told mom on her deathbed, she taught us about humanity, taught us to be compassionate and empathic in all we did. She taught us all to make human connections and that life was worth living when we looked out for each other: family, friends and strangers.

Her family is at peace knowing our goodbye is her hello, to the husband she lost too early and adored immensely. Mom spent many years volunteering at St. Patrick’s Center in St. Louis. We request that you honor our mom, Jane Durbin Jensen’s life through actions that she would support and approve. One such action is to donate to the St Patrick Center. If you are unable to make a financial donation, please see the website for other ways to help like mom did. Online donations can be made through this link: https://stpatrickcenter.org/donate/

Checks can be mailed to: St. Patrick Center Development Office 800 N. Tucker Blvd. 63101

Due to COVID-19 there will be no memorial mass, we hope to have it in one year.


  1. Diane Midray on November 1, 2020 at 10:46 am

    Jane sang in the St Peters choir with me for a time. Although I wouldn’t say we were close she always made me smile when I saw her. I’m so sad to hear of her passing.

  2. John and Kay Strebeck on November 1, 2020 at 6:01 pm

    We knew Jane through Fish Friars, 50+ Club, St. Peter and Paul Soup Kitchen, and 645ers. Your obituary is apropos; she was a doer and an indomitable force for St. Peter Church. She will be missed tremendously.

  3. Kim ( Santen) Blackford on January 13, 2021 at 9:18 pm

    So sorry to hear of the death of Mrs Jensen. Never, Jane. As the daughter of one of her best friends from the early days (Rita Santen) we were not allowed to call her by her first name, even when I became an adult. This was always a bit of a joke between us. I too remember her as you described – always a helper. The Jensen and Santen families, all of us, moms, dads, and 4 daughters each, had so many good times together.

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