Cecil Ann Jensen, A.K.A. Honeybunch, A.K.A Grami passed away on July 14, 2018 at the age of 82, surrounded by family in her home on Honeybunch Lane in Hoopa, California.
Honeybunch was born on February 14, 1936 at the Government Hospital in Hoopa, California. This is where she got her nickname, Honeybunch. The hospital nurses said they could not call, “this sweet little girl born on Valentine’s Day, Cecil (a man’s name)”. So, they named her Honeybunch.
Honeybunch loved to sit and share stories of her childhood. Being the second to the eldest she had many stories of her and her 7 siblings. She grew up next to an orchard where her and her siblings enjoyed playing in the field and eating the fresh fruit off the trees. They would also collect the pitch off certain trees and chew it as gum. Her favorite piece of childhood clothing was her reversable pleaded skirt that she kept in perfect condition all these years.
Honeybunch was proud to be a member of the Hupa Tribe and a descendent of the Yurok Tribe and the Tewa Tribe of New Mexico. As a young woman Honeybunch proudly participated in the traditional ceremonial dances with her friend, Darlene Marshall. She enjoyed watching Jimmy Jackson dance. She said, “Jimmy danced so beautifully, he looked like he was dancing on air. Nobody could dance like him.”
Honeybunch graduated from Hoopa High where she advanced in sewing class becoming a lifelong seamstress; sewing anything from bridal gowns, bridesmaid dresses, prom dresses and clothing to hemming pants for the towns people, along with sewing on the patches for the security guards at the Lucky Bear Casino in Hoopa.
Honeybunch spent three summers in Homer, Alaska with her late husband, Fran “Papa” Jensen. They also drove a chip truck together here in California. Since she didn’t want anyone to see her driving the truck she drove at night as “Night Driver” and he drove in the day as “Coyote”.
She soon opened a boutique she named the “Acorn Basket” handcrafting many of the items, clothing, baskets, pottery, jewelry and more, herself.
After many years at the boutique she took a break from her handcrafting and began working hand in hand with her daughter, Tesi at “Honeybunch’s Café” in Hoopa, waiting tables, cooking and much more. She loved the customers and the customers loved her food. After that she managed the tribe’s “Valley Inn Restaurant” then onto the “Best Western Motel” in Hoopa, Ca.
Coming from a strong family of basket weavers it wasn’t long before she began weaving baskets for a living. She loved taking the grandkids to pick sticks along the river bar and teaching them how to gather material. Volunteering her time at the local schools, teaching children how to weave and make jewelry was how she began her retirement. Today many of the locals recall Honeybunch teaching them how to weave baskets and make jewelry. Some of the orders for her baby baskets stretched as far as New York.
She spent much of her free time playing bingo and going to casinos. Her favorite was The Lucky Bear Casino in Hoopa, California. Here you could find her sitting at her favorite slot machines or visiting with friends. Honeybunch had many friends from young to old and loved a good visit with each one of them. Her friends at the casino nicknamed her, “Moneybunch” because her luck never ran out.
Honeybunch loved all of her grandchildren and they loved her. Grami created many special and loving memories with each one to hold on to. Her love and support exceeded that of a grandmother. She always made sure her grandchildren had what they needed. Often taking on the role of “Mom”. Grami’s house was always open for a good meal, a nice talk or a cozy place to sleep. Being a grandmother made her proud.
Birthdays, holidays, family reunions, and get togethers were always at her house. Full of good conversation, laughter and great food, her house was the place for family and friends to come together.
She will be missed dearly and never forgotten in our hearts we will forever hold that special place just for her.
Honeybunch was preceded in death by her husband, Fran Jensen, mother and father, Cecil and Lorencita “Boots” Masten, sisters Lorencita “Gosee” Berry, Carmelita “Unce” Fambrini, brother Larry “Dunners” Masten and brother in-law Bud Clark, son in-law Alfred “Riggie” Colegrove, granddaughter Cassandra Adrien Perry.
She is survived by her children Debra Haskin of Vancouver, WA, Tesi Perry of Oroville, CA, Cindy Gagne of Vancouver, WA, Vonice Colegrove, Greg Perry and Timothy “Goobie” and Roberta Perry all of Hoopa and Karl, Teddy and Dana Jensen of Blue Lake, Ca. Siblings Delores “Dee” Clark of Hoopa, Al Fambrini of Petaluma, Ca., Marlene and Lou Baum of Anderson, Ca., Roger “Digus” Masten of Eureka, Ca., and Nancy “HiHi” Redenius of Hoopa, Ca. Grandchildren Brandee and Ryan Lapoint, Lorencita Lavine, Vonice Nelson, Alfred Colegrove III, Cecil and Trinie Inong, Perry Colegrove, Aymee Colegrove, Shaun, Thomas and Lorencita Perry, Tim Jr., Katrina, Francess, Alex and Mikole, Travis, Tristan, Dana, Lila and Cassandra Lynette Perry. Great-grandchildren Christian, Terracita, Anthony Maloney, Honey Colegrove Inong, Alfred IV, Maeble, Grace, Jaylee Matilton-Colegrove, Dean Colegrove, Roman, Billy, Lorenzo Lavine, Peyton, Asher Lapoint, Johnny Randall Jr., Mark Jr., Taylor Nelson, Lovella, Wyatt, Natalia Colegrove, Destiny, Charlie Perry, Terry Perry, Tamara, Josh, Jayce McMannus, Donnovan Hojnowski, Evangeline Bennett, Alex Perry Jr.
The family would like to thank Honeybunch’s friends for checking in and stopping by to see her in her last days. We would also like to thank Dr. Eva Smith and Heather Mace for their love, support and dedication to Grami’s health. Also, to Dr. Hong and the nursing staff at St. Joseph Hospital in Eureka, Ca.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, July 22 from 2-4 p.m. at the Neighborhood Facilities in Hoopa. Please bring your memories and your favorite dish to share with her friends and family.
To share memories or express condolences please sign guest book.