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Monica Jensen succumbs to cancer

For more than six hours, friends and family of the late Monica Jensen came to pay their respects at her visitation held at O'Connell Family Funeral Home on Monday.

Jensen, 33, died at home on April 12 surrounded by her family. She was first diagnosed with ocular melanoma, cancer of the eye, in 2004 but recovered. However, last fall the cancer returned, this time in her liver.

She is survived by her husband, Paul Jensen, a member of the Hudson Fire Department; her daughters, Savannah, 6, Olivia, 3, and Ava, 2; her parents, Terri and Norb Keopple of New Richmond; as well as her twin sister, Missy Dierks, a teacher at Hudson Prairie Elementary; and two brothers, Kevin Walz of New Richmond and Craig Walz of Buffalo, Minn.

Jensen grew up in New Richmond, graduated from New Richmond High School and earned her college degree from UW-River Falls. She married Paul, a Hudson native, in 2000.

Family and friends rallied around the family in recent months and organized several benefits to assist them. Two events scheduled for April 21 will go on as scheduled, including a 5K run-walk in New Richmond, where more than 430 people have signed up to participate, and a golf tournament at Kilkarney Golf Course in River Falls that is at capacity with 160 participants.

Funeral services were held Tuesday at St. Patrick's Catholic Church with Pastor Tim Booth of Trinity Lutheran officiating. Memorials will be used to establish an education fund for Jensen's daughters.

A complete obituary appears on page 2C, and will also appear online beginning this Friday.