Robert H. Sorenson, 65, of Watertown, passed away Monday, Dec. 23, 2013, after a brave 15-month battle with melanoma, surrounded by his wife of 42 years, Cindy, and their three children, Christopher, Sarah and Paul.
Funeral services were held Dec. 26 at the Wight, Comes & Sogn Funeral Chapel in Watertown with Pastor Scott Dempster officiating. Music furnished by Samantha and Alyssa Elbert, Nathaniel Chapman, Austin Saraceni and Kade Davidson as vocalists, Julie Radach as pianist and Nick Ries as trumpeter.
Burial was at Mount Hope Cemetery, Watertown. Military honors were conducted by Codington County Post 17 of The American Legion and the S.D. Army National Guard Funeral Honors Team of Watertown.
Pallbearers were Scott Frank, Chad Ronke, Steve Charging, Robert Charging, Bill Henry and Gary Dusharm.
Robert Henry Sorenson was born Nov. 30, 1948, in Wagner to Harvey and Ruby (Ishmael) Sorenson. He graduated from Ravinia High School in 1967. Robert received his Bachelor of Science degree from Augustana College in 1971. He taught high-school math, chemistry and physics intermittently for several years. He later followed his passion for farm life and he worked on a grain and livestock farm in Marcus, Iowa, and Elk Point. He continued to maintain a small dairy farm until 1993.
On April 3, 1971, he married Cindy Pedigo at Canton. They lived in various areas in the United States while he served in the military. They later settled in the Estelline and Bruce area until moving to Watertown in 2013.
Robert proudly served his country as a member of the S.D. National Guard followed by four years of active duty in the U.S. Army from 1973 to 1977, the U.S. Army Reserves, 323rd Chemical Company from 1977 to 1993, and Operation Desert Storm from 1990 to 1991.
Robert was employed at Daktronics, Inc. from 1984 to 2005 and later worked for Davisco Foods in Lake Norden until retiring in 2013.
Robert was a passionate gardener and worked tirelessly raising vegetables, which he loved to share with family and friends. Some years he raised more than a ton of potatoes. He also loved learning his family history. His family tree included his Danish-born grandparents from his father's side and true Oklahoma pioneer ancestors from his mother's side. He was a member of The American Legion of Bruce.
Robert is survived by his wife, Cindy; their children, Christopher of Sioux Falls, Sarah (Bruce) Petersen of Watertown and Paul of Brookings; six grandchildren, Samantha Elbert, Alyssa Elbert, Austin Elbert, Tyson Petersen, Isaac Petersen and Rebekah Petersen; a sister, Elaine Bechen of Lake Andes; and two brothers, Russell (June) Sorenson of Rapid City and Kenneth (Elaine) Sorenson of Wagner.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Submitted by: Jennifer M Bortnem-Risty