Obituary: Virginia Jensen Balentine
Virginia Jensen Balentine, 89, known and loved as “Jinny,” was a strong, caring woman who connected with people in a genuine and positive way. Growing up in Madison, Wisconsin, Jinny was shaped by the Great Depression, World War II, and the Korean War.
She relocated to Arizona in 1955 with a final move to Prescott, Arizona, in 1969. She treasured her time designing and making stained glass while building her southwestern home. In 2016, Jinny moved to spend her final years at her beloved Loba Lodge. The deer, javelina, foxes, squirrels and birds delighted her daily along with a good book and conversations with friends and family. Jinny’s much-loved friends and family were precious to her and they enjoyed her wit and wonderful sense of humor. Knowing and loving each one of you was the greatest joy in her life.
Jinny excelled at growing roses and earned Master Gardener recognition long after earning her master’s degree in special education. Prior to taking the reins at Loba Lodge, Jinny taught at Miller Valley School in Prescott and on the Navajo reservation in Ganado where she developed a keen appreciation for Native American peoples and their art. Becoming a Smoki was a natural fit in her life with husband, Bill Balentine. Jinny supported her community by joining Yavapai Trails Association, Alta Vista Garden Club, No Name Book Club, So&Sew, Westerners, equestrian activities and bridge groups.
She is predeceased by husbands, John William Jensen and William Oakes Balentine; parents, Emma Virginia (nee LeMay) and Bruno Adam Stein; brother, Jolyon Adam Stein; brother-in-law, Tom Mohs; and son, Scott Bradley Jensen.
A large extended family continues celebrating her long, full life: sister, Nancy Mohs; sons, Mike Jensen (Mary), Neil Jensen, Jim Jensen (Diana Shenefield); daughters, Nancy Jensen (Craig Aper), Lauren Ifflander (Jim); and stepchildren, John (Vicki), Howard (Deborah), and Nancy Balentine; grandchildren, Caitlin Goodhart (Josh Menger), Katy, Cassie, Pat (Kacie), and Susie Jensen (Todd Levy), A.J. and Grant Ifflander, Tessa (Monty) Buntin, Mike, Anna, and Hillary Aper (Josh Lindblom), Sarah and Ben Jensen, Hallie (Shannon) Clark, Jenna (Henry) Hansen; great-grandchildren, and many much-loved nieces, nephews, cousins, and dear lifetime friend, Shirley Spohn Ross.
The family extends a sincere thank you to the Good Samaritan Hospice and Marley House staff. You all took great care of Jinny (and us). In remembrance of this special woman, share a kind word, plant a tree, hug a child, adopt a pet, have a party, sip a scotch, and know Jinny lived a full, rich and interesting life.
In lieu of flowers, make a donation in Jinny’s name to: Yavapai Exceptional Industries (YEI!), Groom Creek Fire Department, Smoki Museum, Sharlot Hall Museum, or Yavapai Trails Association. Jinny always loved a good party; a celebration of life is planned for a later date. Virginia, you shall be missed dearly. We realize you are now in God’s keeping. Loving family and friends will greet you as your life flows on with the currents of eternity. We have not lost you. You have only gone ahead.
Arrangements entrusted to Hampton Funeral Home.
Information provided by survivors.
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