McInnis & Holloway
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McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes
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JENSEN, Dr. Debra

1953 – 2012

Debra Jensen was born to Benedict and Marion Badry in Wetaskiwin, AB on July 29, 1953 and lived until July 15, 2012 in Calgary, AB.

Between those two dates, Debra lived a remarkable life.

Debra returned to school to earn her high school diploma when she was twenty-nine years old with two small children at home. She went on to earn an undergraduate degree in Psychology, and her Masters Degree in Religious Studies at the University of Calgary followed by a PhD in Religious Studies from the University of Toronto. She became a professor at Mount Royal University in 1997 where she remained a beloved, respected, and influential teacher. She was the heart of her family; she was their support, wisdom, and their conscience. She was passionate about food and cooking, likely a result of her small town upbringing and her mother Marion. All those lucky enough to have Debra in their lives drew from her courage, her insight, and her love. Her experience with cancer was awe inspiring to all who surrounded her. She was indeed small but mighty.

Debra was preceded in death by her father Benedict Badry and survived by her mother Marion Badry. Immediately, she is survived by her spouse Dave Mallard, her daughter Erin (David) Jensen, son Brendan (Duncan) Jensen, her children’s father Brian Jensen, and her siblings Wendy (Steve) Lamden, and Sandra (Gail) Badry. She is further survived by all the friends, colleagues, and students whose lives she influenced and changed.

Funeral Services will be held at The Cathedral Church of the Redeemer (218 – 7th Avenue S.E.) on Friday, July 20, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. Condolences may be forwarded through www.mcinnisandholloway.com.

If friends so desire, donations can be made in Debra’s name to Cathedral Church of the Redeemer Music Trust or Building Fund at 403-269-1905. Donations can also be made online in Debra’s name to the Calgary Humane Society at https://www.calgaryhumane.ca/sslpage.aspx?pid=563

In living memory of Debra Jensen, a tree will be planted at Big Hill Springs Park Cochrane by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES Park Memorial Chapel, 5008 ELBOW DRIVE S.W. Telephone: (403)243-8200

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Condolence Messages

  1. connie mahoney :

    My deep deep sympathy to Debra’s family and friend Virginia. She was indeed a remarkable woman, one who I admired a great deal. She was a woman of courage and strength.

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  2. We are so sad and will miss Debra immensely.

    Lots of Love,

    Susan, Ken, Jack and Quinn

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  3. Terence Penelhum :

    I had the privilege of having Debra Jensen in my classes at the University of Calgary before she continued her studies at Toronto. She was an excellent and deeply interested student, of the calibre that one learns from rather than teaches. Since her appointment at Mount Royal she maintained her regular connection with us at the U of C, much to our benefit. Her courage in the face of the cancer with which she was smitten was exemplary and her loss a real tragedy. We send our most sincere condolences to her family. They are to be congratulated on their closeness to a scholar and teacher of real grace and distinction.

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  4. I am so very sorry for your loss.

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  5. Shirley Maki :

    To Dave and the rest of the family: Please accept my most sincere sympathy on Debra’s passing. I didn’t know Debra, but did go to school with Sandra in Wetaskiwin. Dave – my heart goes out to you – please know that you and the family will be in my thoughts and prayers.
    Shirley Maki (nee Weiss)

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  6. David Clemis :

    Dear Dave, and all the rest of Debra’s Family,

    The news of Debra’s death weights heavily. But, beyond her passing, thinking of her elicits a big smile. Her rich humour was always a treat, fed as it was by her delicious sense of life’s ironies and a gentle playfulness. Her perceptiveness, integrity, and great wit made her an invaluable and delightful colleague. Her compassionate scholarly commitment to matters of the most profound importance is inspiring. From the first day I started at Mount Royal, I was grateful for her many kindnesses. She will be much missed.

    I am very sorry for your loss, and am very grateful to have known her.

    Best wishes,
    David Clemis

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  7. Dear Family and Friends of Debra:

    My sympathies for your loss, and I hope this time will be a period of healing and transition. I wish I could attend the service; so, I could listen to the spirit of Debra as it is manifested in the many stories and tears of those who knew her. However, I cannot be in attendance; so, on Friday I will raise a glass of wine in her memory.

    The first time I met Debra was as an MA student in the U of C Department of Religious Studies. As two of the mature female students; we shared our feelings, struggles and perceptions. We both continued that all female graduate students should be granted a hubby-wife (i.e. a man who could do all the wifey things) It just seemed unafraid that we were doing double-duty in terms of being full-time students and full-time family managers. I especially remember our mutually adoration for the poem – “When I Get Old, I will Wear Purple.” We discovered the poem long before Red Hat clubs were popular. It spoke to both of us because it expressed our situation in terms of being ‘responsible,’ but our desire to let shine more of our quirkiness

    Debra was also there when I started teaching sessional with the Department, and provided wonderful insights in terms of managing that liminal status. More important, her quick wit and insights helped me maintain my sanity and hope. After my first term teaching, I remember facing the prospective of never being able to teach again because of the uncertainty associated with sessional teaching. I had phoned my husband, Bob, with my fears, anxieties, and fading hopes. He was the traditional rational male. I hung up and spoke to Debra. She summed it up so well. “You did not want empathy; you wanted sympathy. Shall we go for a glass of wine?”
    When Debra was hired by Mount Royal College, one shared her success. The separate institutions and responsibilities meant we drifted apart. However, within a year or two, a new phrase began. In my classes, I began to meet bright, articulate, insightful and passionate young women. I knew these spirited ladies had taken a class with Debra. It was almost as if Debra was creating her own Amazon army. Certainly, from my perspective, I was enjoying the spirit of Debra that had nurtured these ladies in their academic journey.
    While some scholars leave their legacy in the form of books and articles that over time are left on dusty bookshelves or become footnotes. Debra’s legacy was with a generation of young women whom she inspired and nurtured. And, I know these ladies will transmit Debra’s spirit to the next generation.

    So, Debra, I will wear purple on Friday and it will continue to be my favourite colour. I will go looking for that Red Hat. And I toast you.

    Debra’s friends and family, we will see her spirit in the legacy of the people she touched.

    In shared sorrow and gratitude:

    Anne Moore

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  8. Douglas & Pat Kramer :

    Dear family of Debra.
    We are so sorry for your loss but her understanding ways and love will always remain with you.
    Love to all, your cousin, Douglas & Patricia Kramer

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  9. Mike and Sue :

    We are so very sorry for your loss. Please let us know how we can help.

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  10. Please accept my deepest sympathy during this difficult time. Best wishes and much love!

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  11. I always told Debra that I got my degree in Religious Studies because of her, and would recommend her classes to students I work with at MRU. This is sad news – she will be missed.

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  12. Debra Jensen was an influential teacher in my life. Thank you for the As and the Fs.

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  13. Irma Pfenghanssl :

    I was very sad to hear of Debra’s passing and extend my sincerest condolences to you all at this difficult time. Irma and family at Sarcee Meadows

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  14. Mark and Theresa Hopper :

    Dave and family,
    We are so very sorry for the great loss of your beloved Debra. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

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  15. Gail Tricebock :

    Just an additional note to remind you one extra time that we – your family here in the East- are holding each and all of you very close in our hearts. We send a stream of warm embraces and love. xo Gail

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  16. Dear Dave, and all who loved Debra,
    My thoughts are with you at this very sad time of loss.

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  17. Michael and Kim :

    Dave, Erin, and Brendan:

    Our thoughts are with you.

    Michael and Kim

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  18. Louise and Don Yont :

    Our sincere condolences to Debra’s family. We are so sorry for your loss.

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  19. I will always remember Debra as someone who believes it is important to act on what means the most to you. And, in remembering her, it doesn’t feel so lonely to try something that hasn’t been done before.

    You’re a remarkable teacher and an influential friend.

    Thanks Debra

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  20. Deb Bridge, Michael Bridge-Dickson :

    Dear, dear Erin and Brendan (and all other family members), We are so saddened to learn of your mom’s passing, but know she was an amazing person whose influence will continue to be felt by everyone who knew her. Hugs…Deb and Michael

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  21. Miriam Carey :

    My deepest condolences to you, Dave, to Marion, to Erin and Brendan, and to all of Debra’s family and her friends. I was so delighted to welcome Debra back to MRU after her initial battle and am so very sorry to hear of her passing. She was a kind and cheerful colleague, and she will be greatly missed by all who knew her at Mount Royal.
    with my deepest sympathy,
    Miriam Carey

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  22. Mary and George Gardiner :

    Dear Dave and all Debra’s family..
    Debra has been in our nightly prayers for many months and now all of you are. We hope this helps to give you strength and encouragement as you continue your journey without Debra. We did not know her well but just know she was a remarkable lady who lived by her convictions. Dave, if you are ever by here, we would love to see you. We are sorry we cannot be there on Friday.

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  23. Lindsay, Christiane and Breanna :

    Dave, Erin and Brendan,
    We were crushed to hear the news of Debra the other day. However, we also remind ourselves how truly fortunate we all were to have had our lives cross paths with such a remarkable human being.
    Lindsay, Christiane and Breanna

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  24. Patricia Dold :

    To all of Debra’s friends and family, my thoughts and sympathy are with you all. Debra shared her friendship and wonderful cooking with me especially during the years we were both sessional instructors at the University of Calgary until and were, each of us, going through change in our personal and professional lives. I don’t think I have ever felt a closer friendship than what we shared in those years of tears and laughter. How deeply she loved and how deeply she will be missed!

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  25. CorrinaRose Nakskov :

    Dear Dave
    I am so sorry for your loss. I wish I had had the opportunity to meet Debra, but I know you and from that know that I know she was a wonderful woman.

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  26. Gerry Scharff :

    To Debra’s family: it has been many years since we have been in contact, but Debra always had a special place in my heart as I remembered the lenten and bible studies we did together at Westminster United Church. She was a remarkable person and she will be missed. My daughters, Susan and Sandra wish to be remembered to the family as well. God Bless – I will keep you in my prayers. Gerry Scharff

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  27. Gregg Trueman :

    It is hard to make sense of the loss of one so vital. I will miss Debra’s boundless curiosity and willingness to share her smarts. Her many kindnesses were like the tide — they raised everyone around her.

    To Debra’s family, my whole heart is with you as you mourn her loss.

    Gregg

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  28. I wish to extend my heartfelt condolences on the untimely death of Debra. May the love of those around you help you through your difficult times. Dawn

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  29. Nallainayagam :

    My heartfelt condolences to the family of Debra on their irreparable loss. I came to know Debra well when she occupied the office next to mine in the new Arts building at MRU.

    I found her to be very kind, caring and compassionate. She was also a very dedicated and inspiring teacher and was well liked by her colleagues and students. Her untimely death is a great loss not only to the students at MRU but also to the whole academic community in Calgary.

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  30. Harper Badry-Tricebock :

    Erin, Brendan and Dave,

    You are in my thoughts and prayers, I am very sorry for your loss. Much love.

    Harper

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  31. My heartfelt condolences during this time. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

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  32. Janice Attwood :

    Dave and family, I am so very sorry to hear of your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

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  33. Kathleen Crowley :

    Dear Dave and family,

    My deepest sympathy for your loss. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Kathleen

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  34. Linda Howell :

    Debra was the kind of person you only had to meet once to be inspired by. I am sorry not to have had the chance to know her better.

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  35. Jaana Woiceshyn :

    Dave, I am very sorry for your loss. Thinking of you with much sympathy.

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  36. Livia Fiorini :

    Dave,
    So sorry to hear about your wife Debra’s passing. Condolences to you and your family at this difficult time,
    Livia

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  37. Irene Herremans :

    Dave: I did not have the opportunity to know your wife, but she sounds like a wonderful person. Celebrate her life!!

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  38. sloane dugan :

    Dear David,
    So sorry to hear of the loss of your wife to cancer. She, you, and family will be included in my prayers.

    Sloane

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  39. Wayne Irvine :

    Dave,

    I just returned from vacation and was saddened to hear of your loss. I knew your wife at Mount Royal and she was a very wonderful person. My thoughts are with you.

    Wayne Irvine

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  40. Ramona Kineshanko :

    Dear Dave and Debra’s family,
    I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved Debra. You all remain in my thoughts and prayers.

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  41. Kathy Weninger :

    Dave,

    I was so sorry to hear of the loss of your wife. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    Warm Regards.

    Kathy

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  42. Louise Grunerud :

    Dave
    I am sorry to hear of your loss. May family and friends bring you comfort during this difficult time.
    Louise

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  43. Charlene Miller :

    Dear Dave – I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your wife, Debra. She sounds like a truly unique and inspiring person. You and your family are in my prayers.
    Charlene

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  44. Lois Verstraete, Dan and Joanne and Family and Greg and Kim and Family :

    Our family is so sorry for your enormous loss. By reading the messages you can clearly see what an impact she had on this world and you know her memory will live on. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this sad time.

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  45. I had the priviledge of meeting Debra a few times at MRU department events. From those brief times, Debra’s warmth and kindness radiated from her. She will be missed at MRU and she is in my thoughts and prayers. My deepest sympathy to her family and loved ones.

    -Jackie

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  46. To Debra’s family and friends,

    My most heartfelt condolences. Debra was more than a friend to me – she was a source of wisdom, insight and motherly patience. We met while we were both undergrads and quickly formed a friendship that I have valued for many years. I will miss her, but more importantly, I will celebrate her for years to come.

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  47. Dear Dave, Erin and Brendan,
    I was absolutely gutted to hear the news of Debra’s passing. I cannot imagine how you must be feeling. She was truly a bright light in this world, and will be missed so very much by all who knew and loved her. With deep felt condolences,
    Deb Russell

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