Arlene H. Jensen, 94, of Falls Church, passed away peacefully on Monday, Nov. 20.
She had been a resident of Falls Church City for 66 years, residing the entire time in the home which her loving husband Charles A Jensen built for them. They were happily married for 63 years until Charles passed at age 90 in 2007. They had three children: Carol Jensen-Turnage (deceased), Sandy Jensen-Polk and Judy Jensen, all of whom attended City of Falls Church schools.
Arlene was born to Robert White Haslam and Lillian Stuke Haslam in Lincoln Park, New Jersey.
She spent most of her youth in Little Neck Long Island.
At age 17, after graduating from high school, she moved to Arlington, Virginia, where she lived with her sister Marion and her family while continuing her education at George Washington University and working at the Navy Annex in Washington, D.C.
Beginning in 1942 and for the remainder of World War II, she studied to be a cryptologist and managed a crew matching up similarities of incoming encrypted Japanese messages to be passed to the code breakers.
While working there she met a coworker, Ensign Charles Andrew Jensen, who was working on the same project but for a different department.
They fell in love and were married on Dec. 2, 1944.
They lived in Charles’ hometown of Arlington until he finished building their home in Falls Church soon afterward. During the “raising the children” years Arlene, a dedicated and true patriot, founded The Falls Church 4th of July Parade which entertained the East Falls Church citizens and surrounding areas for seventeen years until the event was officially ceased in 1971.
She always made sure each child had a costume.
If not, she would make one herself and be sure that each child received a certificate for their participation in the parade. She welcomed all and made every child feel, “special and patriotic,” no matter their origin, age or disability.
She continued that belief throughout her entire life: all were welcmomed. She was a mother to all.
Arlene will always be remembered for her kindness, for her love of life, for her love of gardening (especially azaleas), cooking and sewing.
No one will ever forget her lovely smile to all.
She will be missed by all, especially by her devoted daughters Judy Jensen of Falls Church, and Sandra Jensen-Polk and her husband Ted of Hanover, Virginia and Orange, her cat.
Graveside services were held Tuesday, Nov. 28 at Columbia Gardens Cemetary (3411 Arlington Blvd., Arlington).