Last night as I (her eldest daughter) was taking a hot bath and naturally thinking of my mom’s last breaths, I was interrupted by the shower attachment going off and spraying me with freezing water.
It was her.
Our mom was well known for countless things, but perhaps over them all, was being a prolific prankster.
The fake puke on bar floors and fake poop in hot tubs, the burnt hot pads or busted appliances she gave for shower gifts, the lids removed and hidden from countless private or public toilets, the shoes of loved ones tied to chairs or toilet plumbing, the opening of every kitchen cupboard in others houses, the canned goods in loved ones luggage, vegetables in visitors shoes, and how she asked guests (often our teenage friends) if they wanted her bath water.
She loved to play along with telemarketers (which I think is why she never got rid of her landline) and when people would call asking for my dad up until the end (they had been divorced for 15 years) , she would tell them he was out behind the barn and had been for years.
As a child, she was shy and abhorred attending birthday parties.
This introversion extended into adulthood, where her absolute favorite place to be was in her home that she was SO proud of. Close family labeled her “Queen Ju of the Little Sioux” for the countless hours she spent sitting on her deck in the warmer months or from her house in the colder months just staring out over the pasture and river. We can just see her now, under her umbrella, dog in lap, with a glass of wine.
A woman of great strength and resolve, she ran the gravel quarter around the farm as a teenager, preparing herself to be one of the fastest female runners the state of Iowa had ever seen. During her high school track career, she broke countless records including one at the district level only to be broken years later by Olympian Natasha Kaiser. She won several state championships, and was so fast that even a state official was sent to her home track to measure to make sure she was real. Her sprinting prowess even led her to be an Olympic contender.
She was a physical specimen most her life, fit and as muscular as a woman could be. She worked out like a maniac for decades and was known to cross country ski all the way from Royal to Spencer. She ran on Thunder Bridge where she always said she “beat out her demons” and would pray. She went on countless RAGBRAIS (her one “week off” from childrearing and housework a year, always over her birthday) and enjoyed cross country ski trips and long bike rides on the country roads.
Her style was impressive and she looked like she had just walked out of a Sundance catalog. In fact, it is imperative that people continue to purchase from Sundance or it may go bankrupt.
She loved nature, Airstream trailers, roosters, indoor and outdoor fires, boutique shopping, camping, traveling, dogs (from Newfoundlands to her last sidekick, a playful goldendoodle named Obi), but most of all, she loved her family.
Her entire world revolved around her family. She was as devoted and involved as a mother/daughter/wife/grandmother/sister as one human could be. This sense of family was instilled in her children.
She absolutely adored her mother and spent countless days with her after my Grandpa Larry died.
Our mother met the second and final love of her life, Randy, in 2012. He was a teddy bear of a man and took very good care of her in every way she needed. She adored him and would cherish watching him finish his work in the barn and tend to the hay and the sheep at night. He was of great comfort to her and she said just days before she died, “Randy was sent to me by God”.
It is true that our mother suffered from deep depression for much of her life and when exercise was taken from her due several serious surgeries, her vitality and mental health declined.
It was found in the early autopsy report that she had unknowingly been suffering the side effects of a completely blocked artery. Between this and the love of her lost son, it is our family’s belief that she died of a broken heart.
No one loved her family more fiercely than my mother and the magnitude of our loss is immense.
She will live on in her husband (Randy Jorgenson) of Spencer, her mother (Shirley Olson) of Okoboji, her daughters Niki (Brandon) Conover and Brittany (Ben) Berger of Iowa City, son Drew Jacobsen of Spencer, sister Lesa (Craig) Manning of Royal, seven grandchildren, and her faithful dog Obi.
She will meet in heaven her son Alex, her brother Jeff, and her father Larry.
225 West 3rd Street • Spencer, IA 51301 • 712-262-3640 • Fax 712-262-1618