Mildred Matterand was born in Stanwood, Wash., on Jan. 4, 1917. She was the second of four daughters born to Haakon and Sophie Matterand. She grew up on the banks of the Stillaguamish River where her dad built boats. Mildred and her sisters swam in the river and took boat trips around the San Juan Islands and Canadian waters.
Mildred graduated from Stanwood High School in 1935 after having been a part of two operettas and assistant editor of the yearbook. She attended Walla Walla College, graduating in 1939 with a major in English and minor in home economics.
After graduation Mildred became the dean of women at Yakima Valley Academy (now Upper Columbia Academy) in central Washington. She left this role to marry her Stanwood childhood friend and sweetheart, Lyle Jensen, in 1940.
They lived in Chicago, Ill., while Lyle worked on the Manhattan Project during World War II; Berrien Springs, Mich., while Lyle taught at Emmanuel Missionary College (now Andrews University); Columbus, Ohio, where Lyle did research at Ohio State University; and then Seattle, where Lyle taught and did research at the University of Washington.
Lyle passed away in 2008. Often when Mildred is asked the secret to her long life, she will say it's because of her very happy marriage.
Mildred and Lyle's family includes Ann White of Everett, Wash.; Paul and Cheris (Parker) Jensen of Orange, Calif.; Mary K. and Steve Campbell of Salem, Ore.; 7 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.
She and Lyle were charter members of Greenlake Church in Seattle. She was a pillar at Greenlake, holding many offices and becoming their first female head elder and one of the first in Adventist Church history. After living for 65 years in the Seattle home that Lyle built, she moved to live with her daughter Mary in Salem. The Greenlake Church purchased Lyle and Mildred's Seattle home and are carrying on their legacy of hospitality. All of Mildred's children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and their spouses (34 family members) gathered together for four days Dec. 27–31, 2016, to celebrate her 100th birthday.