Cover photo for Marian Mae Hensley's Obituary
Marian Mae Hensley Profile Photo
1934 Marian 2023

Marian Mae Hensley

April 16, 1934 — September 10, 2023


Marian Hensley, 89

Marian M. Hensley of Wood River died Sunday, September 10, 2023, at Tiffany Square.  Visitation will be Thursday, September 14, 2023, from 4-7 pm at the First United Methodist Church in Wood River.  Funeral services will be Friday, September 15, 2023, at 10:30 am also at the church.  Burial will be in the Grand Island City Cemetery.  Apfel Funeral Home is serving the family.

Marian Mae (Craft) Hensley, the only child of Lawrence and Mollie (Hofferber) Craft, was born on April 16, 1934, in Grand Island, Nebraska.  She lived in Aurora until the age of seven.  Her family moved to Bremerton, Washington, where she lived for two years.  In 1944 she returned to Grand Island where her parents bought Handy Grocery store at 420 W. 4th Street.  She attended Howard Elementary and Walnut Jr. High, graduating from Grand Island Senior High in 1951.

After graduation, Marian attended Mary Lanning School of Nursing in Hastings, Nebraska, graduating as a Registered Nurse in 1954.  She worked at the Veteran’s Adm. Medical Center where she met her future husband, Gerald Hensley of Central City, who was a patient there.

Marian and Gerry were married May 27, 1956 at Trinity United Methodist Church in Grand Island.  They spent their first year of marriage farming in Brooklyn, Iowa.  They moved to Kearney, Nebraska in 1957 where she worked at the State Tuberculosis Hospital while Gerry finished college.  In 1958, Marian and Gerry moved to Grand Island where she worked at the Veteran’s Adm. Medical Center until 1961 when they moved to Wood River.  She then worked in the recovery room at Lutheran Memorial Hospital, and later served three communities as a Head Start nurse.

Marian worked at the Good Samaritan Center in 1972 as a nursing supervisor.  She was the Director of Nurses for ten years training nurse’s aides and teaching continuing education nursing classes as well.  In 1990 she became the supervisor of medical records until her retirement in 1996.  

Marian was also the first female on the Wood River Rescue Unit squad in 1972, serving with Gerry.  One night, an emergency call came while she and Gerry were attending the high school prom.  They responded in their fancy clothes and were called the “best dressed” responders by the hospital personnel.

Church was very important to Marian and she was proud to be a 50-year member of the First United Methodist Church.  She served on the church board, was a member of the Ruth circle, and worked funeral dinners, as well as the annual dinner and bazaar.  She also served on the Maltman Memorial Library Board, and worked part-time at the library until 2009.  She was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 314.

Marian’s favorite past times were reading, collecting antiques, garage sales on her front porch, and hunting for bargains.  She and Gerry traveled to Hawaii, Alaska, Germany, France, and England.  Her latest trip in 2016 was a Bahama cruise with her cousin Marilyn, daughter Kay and husband Chuck.

Family and friends were important to Marian.  She would often meet her nursing school friends Shirley, Eli, and Dale for lunch.  She also hosted her neighbors and past co-workers in her home for coffee and muffins.  She sold her home in October, 2022, and moved to Riverside Lodge where she resided for nine months, until moving to Tiffany Square.

Survivors include two daughters, Ann (Larry) Bentley of Miller, Kay (Chuck) Carpenter of Grand Island, and one son, Steve Hensley, of Grand Island.  Additional survivors include four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren:  Mollie and Steve Supanchick, Lana, Hailey, and Colton of Hazard; Mark Bentley and daughter Maci of Miller; Marianne and Ryan Cox, Leah and Callie of Miller; Christopher Davis of Grand Island; special cousin Marilyn Glandt of Norfolk; brother-in-law Richard Hensley of Georgia; and many nieces, nephews, and other extended family.

Marian was preceded in death by her husband, Gerry, her parents, and Gerry’s parents, brothers, and sisters.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the family for designation at a later date. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Marian Mae Hensley, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, September 14, 2023

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

First United Methodist Church

1105 Main St, Wood River, NE 68883

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Funeral Service

Friday, September 15, 2023

Starts at 10:30 am (Central time)

First United Methodist Church

1105 Main St, Wood River, NE 68883

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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