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Merlee Susan Bartz (Holman) Jensen

Merlee Susan Bartz (Holman) Jensen

Merlee Susan Bartz (Holman) Jensen, age 90, of Baldwin, WI passed away on February 3, 2023 surrounded by the love of her family.

Merlee was born April 1, 1932 in New Haven Township, Dunn County to Paul August Bartz and Cora Alvilda (Elstad) Bartz. She graduated from Glenwood City High School in 1950, attended the University of Wisconsin – River Falls, and worked for Mutual Service Insurance, in St. Paul, MN before marriage. On May 29, 1954, she was united in marriage to Arlo Holman at the Downing Methodist Church in Downing, WI. Merlee and Arlo were the fourth generation to farm the Holman homestead dairy farm in Baldwin. They were blessed with five children: Andrew, Richard, Jerome, Nancy and Susan. 

Merlee was joyful, loving, kind, considerate and forgiving as she had a strong faith, and she was so talented. Merlee loved music; dancing; singing; playing cards, cribbage, and bingo; needlework and all handicrafts; quilting; bowling; painting; cooking and baking (especially lefse and other traditional Norwegian foods); gardening (she just loved flowers), many other creative activities, and her cats Rusty and Tigger. Merlee was also technologically savvy as she loved staying connected through texting, Words with Friends, and Facebook. She was so fun and loved life! But most of all, Merlee (aka Mamame) loved all of her family and friends. She made each person feel special and very loved. 

Volunteerism was important to Merlee and another one of her gifts. She was an active member of Zion Lutheran Church, the Zion Lutheran quilters, the Sons of Norway-Valkyrien Lodge, and the Home and Community Education (for 68+ years) U-Need-A and Honey Doers. Merlee oversaw the Cultural Arts building at the St. Croix County Fair for many years and continued to work in the building and enter projects even in 2022. Previously, she was a 4-H Foods & Nutrition Leader, a St. Croix County Fair Board member, and a teacher for the Chapter 11 Learning Center for children with special needs. At Peace Lutheran Merlee was a council member, Peace Lutheran Church Women president, Sunday School teacher, a choir member, in the Women’s Circle, and the church secretary.

In November 1991, Arlo passed away. Merlee decided to follow her love of nature and purchase a cabin in Voyager Village. She loved being in the woods, seeing wildlife, feeding the birds, and hosting family and friends. She also enjoyed golfing while living there. In Oct 1999, she married Art Jensen and started another chapter of her life.

Preceding her in death were her first husband Arlo, parents Paul and Cora, brothers Leland and Robert (LouAnne) Bartz, sister-in-law Betty (Maloy) Monicken, brother in-law Burnell Holman, son-in-law Daniel Pinkham, and her second husband Art.

She will remain in the hearts of her five children: Andrew Holman (Bergen, Norway), Richard (Ila) Holman (Baldwin), Jerome Holman (Baldwin), Nancy (Jim) Deringer (Liberty Lake, WA), and Susan (Marty) Mendiola (Pullman, WA); Norwegian exchange daughter Anne Kristin Teigland (Heidi); grandchildren: Jodie (Chris) Tamm, Sarah (Matt) Cornell, Krista (Jared) Fox, Jimmy (Mayra) Deringer, Elise (Nic Hrabik) Deringer, and Jake Mendiola; great grandchildren: Cora, Jocelyn, Lyla, Briella, Rory and Rhys; sisters-in-law Ruby Bartz and Lenore (Harold) Moll.  She is also survived by stepson Steve (Robin) Jensen (Woodville); step grandchildren: Brody (Jessie) Jensen, McKenna (Bram) Henke, Griffin Jensen, Madelynn Jensen, and Maggie Jensen. She is further survived by many nieces, nephews, cousins and dear friends.

A celebration of life for Merlee will be held on Saturday, February 18, at Zion Lutheran in Woodville, WI. Her service will start at 11:00 a.m. and will be livestreamed through Zion Lutheran’s Facebook page. There will be a visitation from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. on Saturday before the service. Burial will be in the Peace Lutheran Cemetery in Baldwin.

Memorials are preferred to Zion Lutheran Church.

The family of Merlee (Holman) Jensen extends their deepest gratitude for your love and support at this time.

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