- Norma Jane Zeleny Jensen 10/14/2012 Long-time Ponca City resident Norma Jensen passed away peacefully on Oct. 4, 2012, while she was away on a painting tripMessage 1 of 1 , Sep 25, 2013View Source
Norma Jane Zeleny Jensen 10/14/2012
Long-time Ponca City resident Norma Jensen passed away peacefully on Oct. 4, 2012, while she was away on a painting trip with her daughters in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Norma Jane Zeleny was born on Oct. 16, 1919, in Plainview, Texas. Her parents, Frank and Frieda Zeleny, migrated from Nebraska to settle and farm in west Texas. Norma attended high school in Plainview where she played clarinet in the band, met her future husband, Warren Leon Jensen, and played girls basketball on the Texas state champion team of 1936. Norma received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Texas Tech University where she majored in business administration. In addition to her other youthful pursuits, Norma had a pilot's license, flew a Piper Cub over the skies of west Texas, and performed barrel rolls to the delight, or horror, of her passengers. Norma taught typing to Army recruits during WWII, then taught school for several years in California and in Ponca City. When she had her first child, John, at age 30 her energies shifted to raising family and caring for her home. Her children, her home, and her marriage to Warren were her overriding passions and joys, although she relished getting together with friends to dance the night away to the songs of the big bands. For many years she enjoyed get-togethers with her friends in the garden club, as well as playing card games such as Machiavelli. One of her favorite spots in her beautiful home was the sunny art studio, where she completed landscapes and portraits that won awards at local art shows. Norma's charismatic and friendly personality added a spark to any conversation, and her easy demeanor and engaging ways were always appreciated by those who knew her. Norma married Warren on Sept. 18, 1944, in California where Warren was working for Standard Oil, later coming on board with Conoco, which brought the two of them to Ponca City. With Norma as his strong support, Warren rose from his initial job as a research chemist into management positions with the company. This led to moves from Ponca City to Memphis, Tennessee, then to the overseas division based in New York City, and finally back to Ponca City as Conoco's vice president in charge of southwest operations. Norma and Warren helped build a better community in Ponca City through their many activities with local colleges, the National Science Foundation, and the Pioneer Woman Museum, to name only a few.
Warren passed away in 1999. Norma is also preceded in death by her parents Frank and Frieda and her brother Donald Zeleny.
She is survived by her five children, John of Ponca City, Carl, and his wife Kay of Seattle, Wash., Gail of Washington D.C., Jan, and her husband Mark of Los Altos, Calif., and Steve, and his wife Johanna of Palm Springs, Calif.; five grandchildren, Orion, Blake, Luke, Kate, and John; her sister, Rosemary Jenkins of Levelland, Texas; and brother, Dale Zeleny of Plainview, Texas.
A family reception to celebrate Norma's life will be held in early November. Memorial contributions may be made to the Ponca City Art Center, 819 East Central, Ponca City 74601.
The Ponca City News - Ponca City, OK