Obituary for John Sorensen: honoring the life and legacy of a popular music educator and Navy veteran
It is with heavy hearts and deep sadness that we gather here today to pay our last respects to a remarkable man, John James Luther Sorensen. On July 23, 2023, the world lost a beloved husband, a loving father, a loving grandfather, and a devoted friend. John’s journey in this world may be over, but his impact and impact on those he touched will linger for generations to come.
John lived a life shaped by his unwavering commitment to music education and service to his country as a distinguished Navy Veteran. His passion for music was apparent from an early age and he pursued it with tireless zeal, eventually becoming a renowned music educator. For decades he has nurtured countless young minds, inspiring them to discover the beauty of music and its ability to push boundaries.
As a Navy veteran, John embodied the values of honor, courage and dedication in his service. He selflessly answered the call of duty and devoted himself to defending the principles he held dear. His bravery and sacrifice on duty earned him the respect and admiration of his comrades.
Throughout his life, John has been a beacon of light, illuminating the lives of those around him with his kindness, compassion and wisdom. He had an uncanny ability to make everyone feel valued and valued, and his infectious laugh could brighten even the darkest of days.
In recent times, John has faced immense challenges with remarkable resilience. Despite multiple blows, he showed incredible resilience and kept fighting with unwavering determination. His six-week battle with lung cancer was a testament to his courage and indomitable spirit. During this difficult time, his family and friends stood by his side, giving him comfort and strength, just as he had given them countless times before.
As we say goodbye to John today, let us think of him not with sadness but with gratitude for the precious memories he gave us. The heavenly choir has gained a talented new member, and we can only imagine what beautiful melodies they will create in eternity.
In closing, let us honor John’s memory by continuing to carry on the lessons he taught us: to embrace the power of music, to serve selflessly and sincerely, and to cultivate the bonds of love and friendship. Though he is no longer with us physically, his spirit will forever resonate in the hearts of all who have had the privilege of knowing him.
Rest in peace dear John James Luther Sorensen as you join the symphony of angels in heaven above. Your melody will continue to reverberate in our souls and guide us through the harmonies of life until we meet again.
Early life and military service
John Sorensen was born on May 18, 1968 in Racine, Wisconsin to Kathleen (Shimkus) and James Sorensen. He proudly graduated from Washington Park High School in Racine in 1986 before enlisting in the United States Navy from 1987-1998. During his distinguished naval career, he served in the United States Navy Band in Little Creek, VA, Charleston, SC, Great Lakes, IL and aboard the USS Blue Ridge and toured the Western Pacific Unit. In 2013, John joined the Navy Reserves, achieving the rank of Chief Mass Communication Specialist and serving as the Senior Enlisted Leader of the Navy Reserve’s Navy Office of Community Outreach. He took pride in mentoring countless sailors and was held in high esteem by his peers as a respected member of the Chiefs’ Mess.
family life and music career
John’s life took a happy turn when, on August 2, 1996, he married the love of his life, Karen Lewicke. This union brought him two wonderful children, Erin and Kyle. Later, in 1999, they welcomed their beloved daughter Hannah into the world.
In 2001, John earned a degree in Music Education from UW-Parkside and embarked on a fulfilling career as Band Director at Wilmot High School from 2001-2023. His passion for music led him to earn a Masters of Music from Carthage College in 2008. During his tenure as a music teacher, he left an indelible mark on the lives of numerous students who fondly remember his guidance and support.
An enduring love of music
Beyond his teaching career, John continued to find solace and joy in music, actively participating in various music groups. His love of music manifested itself through his involvement with the Kenosha Pops Band, the UW-Parkside Community Band, the Racine Concert Band, Swing Nouveau, the Wisconsin Chamber Brass Quintet and Southport Sound. Through these musical endeavors, he cultivated a sense of camaraderie and created lasting memories with his fellow musicians.
A devout Christian and community contributor
John’s faith was an integral part of his life and he was a dedicated member of Reach Ministries, a New Life Kenosha church. Under the direction of Pastor Russ Scoggins, the church provided him with a strong sense of community, comfort, and spiritual growth.
Known for his warm and caring nature, John approached each day with gratitude and enthusiasm. He enjoyed exploring new restaurants, attending events and concerts, and immersing himself in nature. His family, including “the cousins,” held a special place in his heart and he cherished their time together. In addition, he found solace in visiting the tranquil landscapes of the Northwoods.
A warm farewell
John leaves a loving legacy, survived by his devoted wife Karen and children Dr. Erin (William) Merritt, Kyle Lindquist and Hannah (Steven Mack) Sorensen. He also leaves behind his adoring grandchildren Elijah and Sierra Merritt. His surviving family members include his sister Edith Sorensen, sister-in-law Nancy (Tony) Sattler, and nieces Annabella and Alyssa Floro.
The family extends heartfelt thanks to the nurses, physicians, CNAs and other healthcare professionals at Froedtert Pleasant Prairie, Froedtert Milwaukee and Aurora Kenosha Hospitals. Their kindness, teamwork and expertise did not go unnoticed and were greatly appreciated by John and his loved ones.
Obituary of John Sorensen: Final Services and Memoirs
Obituary for John Sorensen: A service commemorating John’s life will be held on Saturday, July 29, 2023 at the Rita Tallent Picken Regional Center for Arts and Humanities at the University of Wisconsin Parkside (900 Wood Rd, Kenosha, WI 53144). The viewing will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., followed by a Christian funeral service.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting commemorative keepsakes for the John Sorensen Memorial Fund, which can be mailed or taken to an Educators Credit Union branch. These donations will help advance education in the community, a cause close to John’s heart and appreciated by his family.
[Original Link]: John Sorensen obituary (1968-2023)