Mark Appelt Jensen

Born: Tue., Jan. 15, 1946
Died: Mon., Jun. 13, 2011


4:00 PM to 8:00 PM, Thu., Jun. 16, 2011
Location: St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church Annandale

Prayer Service

7:00 PM Thu., Jun. 16, 2011
Location: St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church Annandale


10:00 AM to 11:00 AM, Fri., Jun. 17, 2011
Location: St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church Annandale

Funeral Service

11:00 AM Fri., Jun. 17, 2011
Location: St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church Annandale

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Mark “Babu Mzee” A. Jensen, age 65, of Annandale, formerly of Elko, MN and Mabel, MN died Monday, June 13, 2011 at his home surrounded by the love of his family and the grace of God.

Memorial Service will be held 11:00 a.m. on Friday, June 17, 2011 at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Annandale with Rev. Dave Nelson officiating. Visitation will be held Thursday, June 16, 2011 from 4:00-8:00 p.m. and one hour prior to the service on Friday both at St. John’s Lutheran Church. There will be a prayer service Thursday at 7:00 p.m. lead by Pastor Nancy Brown of Christiania Lutheran Church at St. John’s in Annandale. Memorials are preferred to St. Paul Area Synod for the Institute of Agriculture in Tanzania, Africa.

Mark Appelt Jensen was born January 15, 1946 in Estherville, IA to Millen and Blanche (Appelt) Jensen. At the age of 6, Mark moved with his family to Hayfield, MN where he completed High School graduating with the Class of 1964. He then attended Augsburg College on a 2 year football scholarship before transferring to the University of Minnesota. Mark married Teresa Olson on December 16, 1967 in Hayfield.  During his time at the University he was drafted by the United States Army. Upon his honorable discharge he returned to the University of Minnesota to complete his Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Education. Mark began teaching in the Mabel-Canton Schools from 1973 to 1976. He then began farming their dairy farm in Mabel. In 1982 Mark and his family moved to Elko where he worked for 22 years as a Regional Sales Manager for Genex/CRI. Before moving to Annandale in 2004, Mark worked as a mortgage officer for Wells Fargo and JRA Financial Advisors until he became a missionary in 2003.  Most recently, he was a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Annandale, including the Men’s Bible Study.   He enjoyed golf and competing in the Single Action Shooting Society.  Most importantly he was the Founding Director, Institute of Agriculture, Tumaini University, Iringa, Tanzania, East Africa since 2003.  The Institute’s mission is dedicated to sharing the love of Christ while teaching improved farming practices to the people of Tanzania.

Mark’s calling in life was to serve the Lord, which he did so lovingly and humbly. He began his service in 2002 when he went on his first mission trip to Belize. In 2003, Mark along with Terry, became rostered volunteer ELCA Missionaries. Mark began the first of many trips to Tanzania, even though he had been diagnosed with colon cancer while preparing to leave for that trip.  He rotated his time between Africa to work his agricultural mission and America to get cancer treatments.  He was given the name Babu Mzee by the people of Tanzania, which means “Old Grandpa”. Mark’s last journey to Tanzania was in July of 2009, after which he had to remain home and continued treatments until February of 2011. Still desiring to serve the Lord, he continued to be active in the mission stateside as he continued in his mission work. Mark’s presence and faithful service to the Lord was evident by all those he encountered, whether in Tanzania or with others even during chemotherapy. He placed others before himself and always glorified God in all that he did.

Mark is survived by his wife, Terry of Annandale; daughters, Ann Joos of Hamburg and Billie Jo (Lane) Van Lith of Becker; 6 grandchildren, Elizabeth Van Lith, Cole and Crystal Joos, Victoria, Alicia and Sophia Van Lith; siblings, Margaret Haukom of Austin, Bill (Jan) of Kasson, Blaine (Mary Jo) of Askov, Joel (Marsha) of Austin and Jon (Lila) of Owatonna; and many other family and friends. He is preceded in death by his parents and brother-in-law, Lowell Haukom.

The honorary pallbearers will be Lane Van Lith, Cole Joos, Dean Jones and Bill Kolb. Mark and Ardis Nelson along with Crystal Joos and Angie Kukacka will provide music for the service. Arrangements are entrusted to Dingmann Funeral Care, Annandale.

Charitable donations may be made in Mark's memory to the following organization:

St. Paul Area Synod for Institute of Agriculture for Tanzania, Africa

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Condolence Booklet

Tia Smith (Christiania Lutheran Church)
   Posted Tue June 14, 2011
It has been an amazing journey to follow Mark''s life and service in Jesus'' name.
Mark certainly was open to being the hands and feet of Christ, but mostly the love of Christ to many - including Brian and I.

What a good and faithful servant of God Mark was and will be remembered as.
May you all experiences God''s blessings at this time of Mark''s call home.
Tia Smith

Mona Volden
   Posted Tue June 14, 2011
Terry, Ann, Billie and family - we are lifting you in our prayers and asking for God to give you peace at this time of Mark''s death. Mark was such a wonderful example to all that he met of being the hands of Christ. We have been blessed to have had him in our lives and have been included on his amazing journey. We know he has been welcomed into the kingdom of God with the words. "Well done, good and faithful servant". We love you and thank you for all the lives you have blessed across this world. John, Mona and Naomi Volden

Marilyn Hallstrom
   Posted Tue June 14, 2011
With tears of sorrow and joy we remember Mark. His gracious kindness and laughter surrounded him as he did God''s work in the world. We are so thankful that the pain and suffering Mark experienced is gone. He fought the odds and we were blessed to have him in our midst. We pray for you - Terry, Billie, Ann, family and friends, so that all will know that God''s arms are around us as we celebrate Mark''s life in the days to come. Marilyn and Jim Hallstrom

Ruby Bennett
   Posted Tue June 14, 2011
Terry, Ann, Billie and family, God''''s peace to you as you go through this time of grief. You are in my prayers. Ruby Bennett

Ron & Irene Lenz
   Posted Wed June 15, 2011
Mark was a part of our life for a very short time but his purity of faith will remain forever. Cole will pick up the banner and carry on.

Sharen and Ron Larson
   Posted Wed June 15, 2011
Terry we are so sorry for your loss, your families loss and the loss this earthly world has sustained. We prayed so hard for "Mark''''s Miracle", maybe he got it and it just was not ours. Our prayers continue with You and the family knowing Mark is no longer in need of them.

Ron is out of town on business and I have our yougest Granddaughter for a week so will be unable to make the funeral. But may God''''s Grace and Peace be with you as you heal theis tremendous loss.
Love Ron and Sharen

Kim and John Joos
   Posted Wed June 15, 2011
Terry and Family,
We were so sad to hear of Mark''s passing. Our thought are with you in the tough time. John and I, Kristi and her family and Kate are actually travelling to Rome, leaving tomorrow so will be unable to attend services. Please know our thought are with you and that the next time we are on the overlook at Zumbro Bottoms we will stop and remember all the wonderful times. We will miss Mark more than can ever be expressed here.
God grant quiet Peace,
Kim and John

   Posted Wed June 15, 2011
Terry and Family,

We send our deepest sympathy and also rejoice that Mark is at peace and enjoying his time with loved ones right now.Mark lived his belief each and every day to all of us who were so fortunate to know and love him. May our Loving God now give all of you peace and comfort and contentment. He was a living testimony of what God can do in each of our lives. And as I have said many times, here''s one last hug for you Mark. We shall all miss those huge hugs each and every time we saw you at church or out and about. I know there are tons of hugs happening in Heaven right now.

Love to all
Gary and Beryl

DJ and Melissa Lura
   Posted Wed June 15, 2011
Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, Terry. God bless you and keep you. May we all find comfort in the promise of Christ. Because he lives we shall live also, even if we must say goodbye for a short time.

God''s Peace,

DJ and Mel

Jeanne Nash Hoffmann
   Posted Wed June 15, 2011
You have no idea the lives that you and Mark have touched. God has worked miracles through both of you. My prayers go out to you and your family.

Mary and Dick Stuckmayer
   Posted Wed June 15, 2011
Though we only spent one day with Mark - the day we golfed Geneva Golf Course - we experienced what a wonderful man he was. We will always treasure our good time with the two of you. You have many wonderful memories to cherish of all the life experiences you and Mark shared together and the closeness to God you shared. He will always be with you spiritually and he left many lessons both spiritual and practical to people around the world. You, your family and all those his life has touch have been very blessed. God bless all of you. You are in our prayers.

Darrell & Diana Jones
   Posted Wed June 15, 2011
Terry and family,

We were so sad to hear of Mark''s passing to be home with the Lord. We know he''s rejoicing and celebrating in Heaven, his reward for a job well done, however those left behind must really feel a deep loss and profound sadness for his very real presence.

He added such fun to the times we all spent together on the trail and around a campfire. There was only one Mark! We chuckle even now thinking about some of his unbelieveable stories and his delivery! Our love and prayers are with you all.

With love,
Darrell & Diana

Jim and Marlys Riess
   Posted Thu June 16, 2011
Terry and family, it has been a number of years since Mark visited us in Fulda and though we talked on a few occasions, one always wishes more time had been shared. Our deepest sympathy to you and yours - the video was excellent and Mark''s life was indeed full.

Jim and Marlys Riess

Don and Karen Fehr
   Posted Thu June 16, 2011
Terry, Ann, Billie and family,

Many people here in Iringa Town have asked us to express their condolances to you. I will miss some, but Terry you know who they are; the next door neighbor in C-5, The other older Indian man downstairs, Andy the vet at Neema, Marks buddies at Gapco Service (Karen asks why we always get fuel there, and I said because Mark said to!). Tumaini is posting notices with pictures of Mark around the campus, because as Gabriel told me, "Mark was part of this University". Iteweni, the young woman that is working to establish SACOS in the villages told me she only met Mark once, but she remembered Babu Mzee. Who could forget. And Ziata, who when Karen told her today said something we didn''t understand, then folded both of her hands over her heart.

Karen and I are both sad that we can not be there with you at this time, but as I told Gabriel and Nafeti yesterday, what Mark would want us to do is get out to the villages and continue his work.

Our prayers are with you now in this difficult time.

Kwa Herini,

Don and Karen

Don and Karen

Sandy Hendrickson
   Posted Thu June 16, 2011
Terry and family,
Tom and I are camping with our grandchildren this week and regret that we will be unable to attend the funeral or prayer service. We are thinking of you these days and remembering you fondly. Our table grace at lunch today concluded with "and may there be a goodly share on every table everywhere."

There is a rickety old piano in the dorm at the camp and I''ve been playing tunes from "With One Voice" - especially "I the Lord of Sea and Sky" - thinking of Mark''s response to God''s call...."Here I am Lord!" What an inspiration for us all!
Sandy Hendrickson

Tom & Barbara Davis
   Posted Thu June 16, 2011
Terry, Ann, Billie & family:
Our sincere sympathy - we just found out about Marks death tonight when our daughter, Jennie called us. We are unable to attend the visitation or funeral, as we are leaving in a.m. for our annual family outing. Jennie has to work the weekend, so she and her family can''t go with us. Again, our deepest sympathy, and you will be in our thoughts and prayers.

Tom & Barb

Susan Heath
   Posted Fri June 17, 2011
Mrs. Jensen & Family -

I got to know Mark when he would come into the AmericInn to go swimming. It was always a highlight of my day when he would come, driving his golf cart, to go swimming. I enjoyed the sparkle in his smile, and was more than delighted when he had an extra few minutes to share a story about Tanzania with me. The thing most obvious with Mark was his love for the Lord. He didn''t have to preach or say anything - it was just obvious - everything about him radiated God''s presence in his life.

My prayers have included Mark for many months, and as I pray today I pray for your family as well.

Psalm 104:31:
" May the glory of the LORD endure forever;
may the LORD rejoice in His works."

Friends in Christ Jesus -

Susan Heath
Annandale AmericInn

Wesley and Diann Lewis
   Posted Fri June 17, 2011
Terry and family, We did not get to know Mark for very long but he was a real inspiration to us in showing us how to live in spite of adversities. We have been praying for you. Wesley and Diann Lewis

Nancy Baker
   Posted Fri June 17, 2011
Dear Terry & family

What can mere words say when we''re separated from someone so loved and loveable as Mark, except the assurance we will be reunited one day with Christ. Mark''s heart of gold will be sorely missed on two continents, what a privilege it was to travel with him to Tanzania and witness God''s vision for his role at the university come alive in his heart. What impressed me even more was the sheer joy and light in his eyes every time he shared about his family! God''s grace be with you all. nancy

Carol Cassell
   Posted Fri June 17, 2011
Dear Terry & Family,
What a privilege to have known Mark-- a wonderful friend and messenger for the Lord. He will be deeply missed but is probably smiling down on us as he sits near the Lord. He has left his mark on many peoples and has been loved by all he touched. May the good Lord wrap his arms around you and bring you comfort during this time of sorrow.

Molly Gillin
   Posted Thu June 23, 2011
Dear Terry,
Sending my sincere sympathy. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Molly Gillin

Jay and Kris Kamrath
   Posted Fri June 24, 2011
Dear Terry and family,
I just read on the Mabel facebook page that Mark had died. His dedication to the Lord was already very evident when you all live in Mabel. I remember that he was burning the candle at both ends when he was living in Mabel, farming and teaching some adult night classes. If I remember correctly there was a night, Terry, that you went out looking for him and his pickup was in the middle of the road on the way to the farm, still running, and he was sound asleep. I certainly appreciated his and your involvement at Scheie so many years ago. Those years go by so quickly. What an inspirational history Mark leaves behind. Jay and Kris

Janet and Roy Sharp
   Posted Tue June 28, 2011
Dear Terry and family,
We just heard today that Mark died. We were on vacation to Alaska.
Mark was so very talented. You have so many shared experiences.
God bless you and your loved ones during this time of sorrow.
Janet & Roy

Annette Snyder-Fossum
   Posted Wed July 13, 2011
Terry and family,
I am so sorry to hear of Mark's passing. We have great memories of Mark and your family in the Shooting Stars 4-H club as well as a teacher at M-C High. What a wonderful and loving obituary.

Take care. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Todd, Annette and Alex Fossum

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