CLAM GULCH, Alaska – Velmore Nelson "Vel" Sorenson, 87, of Clam Gulch, Alaska, passed away on May 15, 2015, at Providence Hospital in Anchorage, Alaska. Vel was born in Swan River, Manitoba, Canada, on Aug. 2, 1927, to Peter and Gladys Barbar. His mother moved the family, Vel (2 years old) and brother Rod, to Montana in 1929. She married Albert Sorenson on Oct. 4, 1931. Albert was not only Vel's dad, but his best friend. Vel grew up and went to school in Plains. After Albert died, Vel quit school to work and help support his seven siblings. He continued to educate himself, and encouraged his children to be well educated.
Vel had a passion for music and played professionally for many years. He and Terri also cared for foster children along with seven children.
Vel married Edith (Terri) Calhoun on Oct. 12, 1949, and Vel became dad to Glenda, Terri's daughter.
He retired from the Great Northern Railroad in the 1980s, owned two television repair shops, one in Hamilton and one in Malta. He also had a business in Idaho building rock hearths and fabricating wood-burning stoves.
In 1984 Vel and Terri went to Alaska for a daughter's wedding and stayed. They lived in Anchorage until Terri's death in 1989. Vel purchased property in Clam Gulch, built his house there and followed his other passion of fishing for halibut and salmon.
He had plans to return to Montana this summer.
Vel was a good friend and never knew a stranger. He was a very kind and tender-hearted, giving person, who would go without if someone was in need.
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Vel is survived by his daughters, Glenda Calhoun of Missoula, Karen Voris, Eagle River, Alaska, Donna Hattel of Elma, Washington, Susan Ramsey of Waco, Texas; son Darrell Sorenson of San Lorenzo, California; 19 grandchildren; a sister, Amelia Best of Sheldon, Washington, and sisters-in-law, Helen Sorenson of Ronan and Lucretia Sorenson of Trout Creek.
He is preceded in death by his wife, Terri; son Wayne Sorenson; daughters Fern Johnson and Carol Ann Heater; his parents Gladys and Albers; step-father Oroville Schutter; brothers, Rod Barbar, Carl Sorenson, Willard Sorenson and Buck Sorenson; and sisters, Gladys Williams and Mercede Nygren.
He will be missed by family and friends.
Cremation has taken place at Janssen's Evergreen Memorial Funeral Home in Anchorage.
Memorial Services will be Saturday, Aug. 15, at 2 p.m. at the First Lutheran Church, Plains.
Donations may be made to American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, Musical Arts or the charity of your choice. In memory of Vel, do a kind act for someone.