Frederick W. Sorenson Jr., age 85, of Pagosa Springs, Colo., passed away suddenly on July 20.
Junior, also affectionately known as “Pa,” was born on Sept. 2, 1936, to Frederick W. Sorenson (Billy) and Gertrude Kingsley in Pagosa Springs, Colo. The Sorenson family came to Pagosa Springs in 1902 from Kankakee, Ill., settling near Chimney Rock. Junior was an avid outdoorsman and participated in all high school sports. After graduating from Pagosa Springs High School in 1954, he studied business administration at Adams State College, earning a BA degree and a Colorado teaching certificate in 1958.
Junior then joined the United States Army and was stationed in Fort Riley, Manhattan, Kan., as a communications specialist with top-secret clearance. This is where his first child, Randy, was born in 1960.
After his honorable discharge from the Army, he landed a job as a manager/chef at Jan’s Cafe. He then became a bank officer for Citizens Bank, kicking off a long career in the banking field. His second child, Jo Jo, was born in 1964. Junior transitioned from banking to the construction and hardware business. He was an icon at such establishments as Ray’s, Red Barn, Circle T and Terry’s Ace Lumber and Hardware.
In 1984, Junior married the love of his life, Janet Armstrong, at the Thunderbird Lodge. Jon, Jace and JaNae joined Randy and Jo Jo, and a blended family of seven was created.
Junior loved serving his community and was very active in the local Lion’s Club, Odd Fellows Lodge and a deacon of CrossRoads Church. Junior was the treasurer for the Red Ryder Committee for 12 years. During his tenure, the committee was not only in charge of the rodeo, but also the parade and the dance. It was a common sight to see him at all activities from sun up to sun down. Under Junior’s leadership and a sharp pencil, the Red Ryder Roundup prospered. He was given the Red Ryder Award in 2004. He was a devoted sports fan, especially involving his children and grandchildren, who were the apple of his eye.
Junior was preceded in death by his parents and stepfather, George Yamaguchi. He is survived by his wife, Janet; son Randy; daughter Jo Jo (Charles); stepsons Jon and Jace Johnson; stepdaughter JaNae (Christians); and his 10 grandchildren, Brandon, Ryann, Tiana, Tyler, Abbey, Mitch, Kylie, Kaylor, Kelton, Faith and three great-grandchildren.
Services will be held at Centerpoint Church in Pagosa Springs, Colo., on July 30 at 10 a.m. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Pagosa Springs Athletic Booster Club, P.O. Box 5103, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.