With indefatigable grace and courage, Roger “Scott” Sorensen died July 30, 2019, at his home in Whitefish.
Scott was born to Sally and Si Sorensen on March 13, 1940, in Havre, where he remembered a happy, adventuresome childhood. Scott excelled in sports and school and loved the people of Havre. He graduated from Northern Montana College and Montana State University. He taught high school in Havre for two years, and, after a master’s program at the University of Montana, Scott was one of 10 people chosen for a National Journalism Fellowship in Washington, D.C. In 1968 he moved to Portland and became a news editor for the Associated Press and then began a career in marketing and management for regional shopping malls, including Lloyd Center and Washington Square in Portland and Southgate Mall in Missoula. Scott was on the board for the International Council of Shopping Centers for many years, teaching classes and consulting in marketing and management for shopping centers throughout the United States and internationally.
Scott met his future wife, Joanie Simons, in 1965 and they married the following year. They had two sons, Jon “Scott” and Bjorn Shawn. Scott was a devoted father, husband and grandfather and a hard worker who provided a good life and upbringing for his boys. Scott had wonderful, gentle Christianity, leading and sharing in Bible studies throughout most of his life. Scott believed in honesty, fairness and generosity and was loved by those who knew him. Tall in stature, his sons and friends remember him being the funniest person in any room, both in wit and physicality.
After years of success with his own shopping center consulting business, which let him travel extensively, Scott was thrilled to move to Whitefish, where he was able to work and volunteer, like his years on the city planning board. With love and joy, Joanie and Scott included beloved Nonie Simons, Joanie’s mom, in their home for 18 years until she passed at age 100. Scott loved and cared for Nonie with warmth and intelligence, a tribute to both their outstanding characters.
Scott was diagnosed with cancer in 1991 and managed to live with grace and courage for many years, mostly ignoring his grim diagnosis and expectations, surviving repeated chemo regimes, surgeries and treatments. In recent years, as his health and energy deteriorated, he maintained a sweetness, lovely dignity, and timely sense of humor that inspired all of the many who loved and admired him. His sons, his wife and many friends were lucky and blessed to share this passage with him.
Scott was preceded in death by his parents, Si and Sally Sorensen, his sister, Carol, and Nonie Simons.
He is succeeded in life by his wife, Joanie, his beloved sons, Scotty and Bjorn (Shawn), his daughter-in- law, Kaori, his darling grandchildren, Teresa and Kyle, and the dearest of brothers, Alan Sorensen of Havre.
Through the years, Scott was blessed to have medical professionals who provided him love and support along with excellent care. Among those who were true heroes to Scott were Dr. Goodman, Dawn Murray, Dr. Boharski, Susan Socha, Carrie Ofarrell, and dear friends Dr. David Nichols, Dr. Righetti, Carol Vandekeift, Sue Janik, Carrie and Dave Wick, Marge Fisher, Connie Kenfield and so many wonderful friends who brought joy, kindness and most appreciated of all, Communion.
Scott was humbled by disease, but his appreciation and love for others never diminished. Throughout life, the ending to his lovely prayers always included the line “help us to be kind and good to all we come in contact with.” And he was.
A rosary vigil will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 8, at St. Richard Catholic Church in Columbia Falls. A Funeral Mass will be held at 11 am. Friday, Aug. 9, at St. Richard Catholic Church, with interment to follow at St. Richard Parish Cemetery. A reception will follow at the church.
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