Karen Lee Jensen, daughter of Norman and Dorothy (Johnson) Blass, was born on May 19, 1941 in Spencer, Iowa. She passed away on March 18, 2023 at Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls, South Dakota at the age of 81 years.
May 19, 1941 – March 18, 2023
Karen was united in marriage to Harold Dean Kent in 1957. The couple had two children April and Alan. They were divorced in 1963 and Karen returned to school and graduated from Estherville High School in 1964. She continued her education at the University of Iowa, obtaining many degrees including multiple Master’s Degrees from the Writer’s Workshop. Following college she moved to New York City, where she was employed as a photographer, writer, and poet for many years. She worked for the Kodak Company, did free-lance work, and had her work displayed in many art shows throughout the city. Karen published two books of her photography. She enjoyed and had a knack for getting the artistic angle of a building or some item in nature that was appeasing to the eye. Throughout her career, Karen was a member of many groups including the Photography Guild and Iowa’s Writers Workshop.
Karen enjoyed spending her summers camping and traveling around the United States with her children. She was able to take a trip to Germany, while attempting to track down her Blass ancestors, although she never found the “correct” Blass Clan, she did gain many new friends. Karen and her mother enjoyed trips togethers, especially to Europe where they got to explore castles.
Around 1999, Karen retired back to the Estherville Area, where she enjoyed spending time with her family. On January 1, 2007 she was united in marriage to Donald Jensen, Don preceded Karen in death. She had quite the flower garden to keep her busy, as well as a small vegetable plot. Spending time outside and in the nature brought her great happiness. Karen was a very kind, giving, and non-judgmental person. She was accepting of all people and situations and welcomed many with an open heart.
Karen is survived by her children April Shultz and Alan Kent of Estherville; her step-children Linda (Kurt) Fisher and Jim Kent; her grandchildren Jason (Amelia) Palmer, Dustin (Kristie) Palmer, Brianna Kent, Ryan Brown, Joel Fisher, Noah Fisher, and Elizabeth Durst; and great-grandchildren Evalyn Palmer, Addison Palmer, Devon Leon Palmer, and Lily Palmer. She is also survived by her brother Chris (Coleen) Blass.
Karen is preceded in death by her parents, both of her husbands, her brother Michael Blass, and grandson Brandon Thompson.