Jane Ellen Jensen Torkelson, 69, of Vermillion, passed away suddenly and peacefully at her home in Vermillion on Wednesday, June 26, 2013.
Jane Ellen Parker was born Oct. 14, 1943 in Des Moines, IA to Clifford and Iona (Sorensen) Parker. Her name was changed to Jane Jensen when adopted by her step-father Edwin Jensen. Jane attended elementary school in Lake Andes, and high school in Weslaco, TX. She returned to South Dakota to attend the University of South Dakota, where she met her husband K. Larry Torkelson, and they were married in Lake Andes in 1963.
After graduating with a Music Education degree, she taught music while Larry earned advanced music degrees in Michigan and Indiana. They enjoyed raising their two children Tracy and Jeff in a home filled with music, laughter and love. Upon returning to South Dakota, she worked as the music teacher at Elk Point High School and eventually worked as the elementary school music teacher in Vermillion and also received her Master’s degree from USD. She retired in 1999 after many years of teaching music to the children of Elk Point and Vermillion. Colleagues remember her with a smile on her face, as laughter and music surrounded her. She earned the love and respect of the students and colleagues that she touched.
After retiring, she enjoyed traveling to see family and friends. She was an active member of the Trinity Lutheran Church and enjoyed exercising, visiting and lunching with friends. She will be remembered as a devoted wife, a loving mother, an active grandma and a fun loving friend.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Larry in 2008, and a brother, Joel Parker.
Jane is survived by her son, Jeff (Lisa) Torkelson of Ft. Lauderdale, FL; a daughter, Tracy (Dan Leikvold) of Spearfish; her grandchildren, Taylor and Braeden Ferguson; a sister, Carolyn (John) McBride of Seattle, WA; friend, Billy Carmean of Austin, TX; a nephew, Brian Kelley; cousins and many loving friends who will miss her smile and contagious laugh.
Memorial services were 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 3, at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Vermillion with burial to follow in the Bluffview Cemetery in Vermillion. Visitation began at 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 2 with a prayer service at 7 p.m. all at the church. hansenfuneralhome.com.