William Clarence Sorenson, Bill to some friends and Uncle Bill to others, was born June 1, 1937 and passed away November 14, 2021. The days in between were packed with things that make great stories, some of which are even appropriate for print.
Bill was born in Wagner, South Dakota, where his family cared for a whole menagerie of animals including a pet possum and Chippy, his pet squirrel. With a soft spot for any animal, he traveled to Alaska to get close to the grizzly bears, Hawaii for humpback whales, and during the pandemic, to the grocery store to buy watermelon for his pet butterflies.
Bill was always up for an adventure and loved to travel, so he enlisted in the Air Force, hoping to get stationed in Europe, like his brothers. The Vietnam War wasn’t exactly what he had in mind, but it’s where he wound up. It’s also where he met Jim Talley, a good friend who assisted Bill in both getting into and out of trouble. He saw the whole world and never shied away from trying new things, except food and cooking.
Bill went back to Vietnam many times throughout the years. He had so much tenderness for the small and vulnerable, and frequently volunteered his time holding babies at the orphanage he first visited during the war. He would pack two suitcases for those trips – one with his clothing, and the other with toys for the kids there.
Along with all the stories, Bill leaves behind his brother, Dale Sorenson, his hanai daughter, Kristen Talley, nieces Cherylynn Gatilin and Tonya Sorenson, nephews Matthew James and Michael James, 14 grand-nieces and grand-nephews, and a lot of people who just appreciated his humor and kindness.
Per his wishes, there will not be a service. Instead, we ask that you please consider the multitude of charities supporting child or animal welfare, and give what help you can with Bill in mind.