The world lost a special husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle and friend when James "Jim" Sorensen passed peacefully on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2011, in The Dalles, Ore. Jim was born on Nov. 29, 1926, in St. Paul, Minn., to Dorothy and Herluf (Jim) Sorensen; he joined a sister, Betty.
Life for the Sorensens meant lots of moves since the family were butter-makers and worked in different creameries in Minnesota, Illinois and Iowa. One year Jim went to three different schools. In 1944 at the age of 17 Jim enlisted in the Navy and served and saw many ports in the Pacific.
Back in Elkader, Iowa, he went to work in a restaurant and waited on a cute phone company operator. He would tease and try to impress her. Jim finally won her over and married Ruth Burlingame on Jan. 27, 1949, in a Midwest snowstorm. By then Jim was a student at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, where he earned a bachelor's degree in economics.
Their first child, Bruce, was born in 1951. Soon to follow were Kathy, Paul and Mary.
Working for different companies, Jim moved the family from Illinois to the West Coast. Loving his family time, there were many picnics, fishing trips, camping, car rides, sightseeing; and always humor. He also enjoyed hunting, golfing and puttering in his shop, and going shopping with his "lovely bride."
In 1976 their first granddaughter was born. In 2006 two of their three great-grandchildren came along.
Jim loved the Catholic Church, serving on the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and school organizations in various Catholic schools, and as a longtime member of the Knights of Columbus.
Jim is survived by his wife, Ruth, of Hood River, Ore.; sister Betty Torsrud, of Freeport, Ill.; sons Bruce Sorensen, of Portland, Ore., and Paul (and wife, Sue) Sorensen, of Oregon City, Ore.; daughters Kathy (and husband, Mike) Oates, of Hood River, Ore., and Mary Stunz, of Boise, Idaho; grandchildren Jessica (and husband, Eric) Storm, of Portland, Ore., Sarah (and husband, Bob) Fox, of Hood River, Ore., Corinne Oates, of Ogden, Utah, Jimmie Oates, of Corvallis, Ore., Elizabeth Stunz, of Portland, Ore., Teresa Stunz, of Boise, Idaho, and Becca Stunz, of Nova Scotia, Canada; great-grandchildren Sante Storm, Kristin Fox and Justin Fox; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
A service to honor Jim is planned for Saturday, Oct. 8 at St. Mary's Catholic Church; Rosary at 10:30 a.m. and Mass at 11 a.m., with graveside rites to follow, then a reception. Viewing is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 7, from noon to 4 p.m. at Anderson's Tribute Center (address below).
Memorial contributions can be made in Jim's name to the St. Mary's Building Fund in care of Anderson's.
Arrangements are under the direction of Anderson's Tribute Center (Funerals, Receptions, Cremations), 1401 Belmont Ave., Hood River, OR 97031; 541-386-1000. Please visit www.andersonstributecenter.com to leave a note of condolence for family.
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