Joseph Thomas Sorenson

January 18, 1940 – January 25, 2022
Joseph Thomas Sorenson of Calgary died on January 25th at the age of 82. Tom was a pillar in the community and his passing will be felt by many. He worked as Vice Principal at Dr. E P Scarlett High School from it’s opening in 1970 until 1992. He transferred to Central Memorial High School to finish his career in 1997 as a lifetime member of the Alberta Teachers Association. During his career Tom was know as “firm but fair” by students and staff alike. He particularly loved sports and coached numerous championship teams over his career. He often recalled the 1986 Alberta 4A Sr. Girls Basketball Championship as his greatest highlight. It was an extra special championship because he was able to share it with his daughter Erin, who played starting forward on the team. After his retirement, E P Scarlett created the “Tom Sorenson Award”, which is presented annually to the student, male or female that has achieved a high standard during their three years at Scarlett in academics, athletics and school involvement. Tom didn’t just enjoy coaching sports he loved to play too. As a youth he played every sport available in his hometown of Stettler, AB and later competed at university level hockey and track & field. He loved men’s league hockey, golf (he had two Hole-in-Ones during life), and curling. He curled with Shirley until he was 80.

Tom loved to provide service and when he wasn’t volunteering with coaching he was doing something with the Rotary Club. He was a founding member of the Chinook Rotary Club and served in almost every volunteer capacity including President. We are confident that he parked more cars for Spruce Meadows than anyone else alive; helping to raise funds for Rotary projects. Tom was super engaged in the Rotary Student Exchange program. He helped enable dozens of Calgary high school students to study abroad, while bringing many foreign students to Calgary high schools. He truly embodied the “Service Before Self” motto, but ironically found receiving service difficult. Tom was a faithful member of Red Deer Lake United Church and attended regularly up until the start of the pandemic. He helped with building the church expansion and provided many happy hours of volunteer service.

Tom was passionate about his family. Not just his immediate family but extended family too. His favorite events were Sorenson family reunions or family vacations to Candle Lake Saskatchewan. Whenever anyone in the family was sick, ageing, or otherwise in distress, Tom would visit and do whatever he could to minister to his family. Often this included playing cards, watching sports, or having a good talk. Although he lived in Calgary, Tom never lost touch with his roots in Stettler and will be laid to rest next to his mother Josephine near Stettler in the Botha Cemetery .

Tom is preceded in death by his parents Chester Sorenson & Josephine Sorenson (Harbison) and stepmother Rita Sorenson (Annabelle), brother Murray Sorenson, and brother-in-law Bob Stewart. He will be lovingly remembered by his dear companion Shirley Seitz, friend and former spouse Rene McManus, sister Carol Stewart (Sorenson) and sister-in-law Dianna Sorenson (Doan), brother Paul & Linda Sorenson (Kallal), children Wendy Sorenson and son Alexander, Erin Sorenson and children Rachel & Jackson, and Brad & Rebecca (Taylor) Sorenson and children William & Sarah (Persson), Adam, Amy, and Jennifer.
Published on January 31, 2022