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MS WYOMING SENIOR AMERICA 2012,
CATHERINE JENSEN

Ms. Wyoming, Catherine Jensen Being born and raised in a small farming community, surrounded by a large extended family, provided the basis for a safe, secure and loving childhood. Cathyís earliest memories are of big family gatherings, with an abundance of good food and family entertainment. Singing "Jada, Jada" with her brothers and sisters, accompanied by her father on the ukulele, singing around the campfire and listening to her father play the harmonica on family camping trips, gave her an appreciation for music and the beauties of nature in the mountains and parks of the west. Being whisked around the dance floor in the arms of her parents introduced her to joy of dance and rhythm. And of course there was a tender, loving grandmother who cared for the children while all the adults assisted with fall harvest.

It was this strong, caring family background that laid the foundation for Cathyís life. She enjoyed a happy childhood and relatively carefree teenage life. Cathy loved participating in choirs, community plays and dances during this time. Three weeks after graduating from BYU with a Bachelor degree in Communications, she married a young man who shared her same love of music and drama.

The ensuing years were busy with a quickly growing family (7 busy and active children), moves for employment (and to make more room for the expanding family) and of course many opportunities for participating in musical activities. She continued to sing in choirs, with small groups and presenting solos. She still found time to be involved in musicals and plays, with many of her family members participating at the same time. At home, the family enjoyed singing the songs of Broadway plays accompanied on the piano by their father/husband. The highlight of every family Christmas Eve program was the family rendition of "Sleigh Bells" with everyone playing an instrument of some kind and singing with "great gusto."

It was also during this time, that Cathy became very involved in leading and directing the activities for the women, young women and children of her religious community. Volunteering at the schools her children attended allowed the opportunity to be involved with their education and to develop a close working relationship with their teachers. Cathy worked part-time at home providing day care, as a seamstress and as an administrative assistant for her husbandís real estate career. These were busy, challenging, and rewarding years.

A  divorce after 28 years of marriage caused the music in Cathyís life to die for a while but she plunged forward, returning to school to upgrade her skills and set out to find her own career. Currently she works as a Volunteer Coordinator for Align Hospice and loves working with people who are at the end of life. She continually marvels at the inspiration and tranquility that she finds in associating with these people. She also has the opportunity of working with some very remarkable volunteers and associating with Service Learning students from a couple of local universities. And music is once again an important part of her life.

Cathy currently resides in Meridian, ID. She has 7 children and 18 grandchildren who are the light and joy of her life.




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