Donald Sorensen

Sorensen1Donald Sorensen, 84, passed away at home, surrounded by family, on September 9, 2014, after a long struggle with heart disease, diabetes, and kidney failure.


Don was born and raised in Seattle, WA. Though extremely hard of hearing since early childhood, he graduated with a B.S. in Chemistry from Central Washington University and became a chemical engineer in Boeing’s aerospace program. In the early 1960s, he was transferred to New Orleans, Louisiana to work on Boeing’s portion of the Apollo projects. While there, he met Elaine Hinrichs, and they married in 1969.


Their first daughter, Elizabeth, was born in New Orleans, and the family moved north in 1973, when Boeing transferred Don back to Seattle. Their second daughter, Christina, was born not long after. Both Don and Elaine were very active in St. Benedict’s CatholicSorensen4 Church, where both girls attended grade school. In addition to serving as an usher at Sunday mass at St. Ben’s, Don became involved in the parish chapter of St. Vincent de Paul after he retired.


In 1986, Elaine succumbed to cancer and passed away, and Don dedicated himself to caring for his two daughters as they grew into adulthood. He had a calm, quiet strength, and a clever, dry sense of humor, and did everything he could to be a good provider and supportive parent. His daughters eventually married, and he lived long enough to meet three grandchildren: Taryn (8), Oliver (2), and Liam (5 months).


Don’s favorite hobbies in early adulthood were stamp-collecting and listening to various operas and other music, especially Herb Alpert and Gilbert & Sullivan. Later in life, he also enjoyed collecting movies – VHS and then DVDs – and eventually accumulated a collection sufficient to rival a small video store. He loved to go out to eat and then stop to peruse movies and purchase a few for his collection.


Sorensen3Don is survived by his two daughters and their families and children, as well as by his sister Betty, all of whom live in Seattle.


A Memorial Service will be held at St. Benedict Catholic Church (4811 Wallingford Ave N) on Wednesday, September 17 at 10 AM, with a reception to follow at the school across the street. Don will be laid to rest that afternoon at Holyrood Cemetery in Shoreline, in the same plot as his wife Elaine. He will be greatly missed.

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