Mechanic 06

Larry Jon Sorenson

December 25, 1947 ~ October 27, 2021 (age 73)

Obituary

Larry Jon Sorenson, 73, passed away peacefully at his home on Wednesday, October 27, 2021, after a year-long battle with cancer.  He spent his final hours listening to The Kingston Trio and John Denver’s “Country Roads”.

Larry was born on Christmas Day, 1947, in Clarkfield, MN to Olaf and Evelyn (Aakvik) Sorenson. He was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith and attended Clarkfield Elementary and High School, graduating in 1965. On October 25th, 1969, he was united in marriage to Judith Ann Clemens in Lakeland, MN. They have two daughters, Krista and Lindsey, and four grandchildren.    

In addition to being a devoted husband, father, and grandfather, Larry also spent his life pursuing his passions. His endeavors were diverse, and he mastered many skills.  His creativity and meticulous nature served him very well in his trades but meant that patience was also a virtue for those around him.  He was extremely talented at building and remodeling homes, restoring antique furniture, and fixing nearly anything that he was determined to fix. His resume also includes several entrepreneurial ventures, owning a clothing and furniture store, as well as hobby, antique, and a floral shop over the years.

In the early 90’s he purchased the old, vacant, Clarkfield hospital building to expand his furniture refinishing business, which required large dip tanks, stripping, and finishing rooms. He served customers all over the U.S.  In 1996 he helped his daughter and son-in-law open a 50’s style restaurant, B-bops Malt Shop, located in the previous Labor and Delivery Ward of the hospital. It became a family business, but Larry couldn’t stay out of the kitchen, whipping up his famous Sloppy Joe BBQ’s and old-fashioned Blue-Plate Specials.  He insisted bottomless coffee always remained at 2 bits (25 cents) and enjoyed the repeat clientele, and catering to the classic car clubs in the area. When Clarkfield natives paid a visit to where they were born, Larry enjoyed letting them know they were delivered in the exact spot that they were dining.  Even though he worked long days in the Malt Shop and pulled all-nighters to meet his furniture deadlines, he never complained. He thrived on being busy, and as he always said, he did his best work when he was “under the gun”.

Larry was proud of his Norwegian heritage and enjoyed baking and cooking in his retirement. He often volunteered at Good Samaritan Society-Woodland making the old favorites the residents remembered. He will undoubtedly be remembered for his famous Molasses Ginger Cookies and Pecan Pie.

Passing years never seemed to slow Larry down.  Three years ago, he and Judy downsized and purchased a 1938 house, in town, to renovate. Not long before his cancer diagnosis he was spotted on an extension ladder, on top of scaffolding, which reached heights that would scare most people, to paint the high peaks of their house.  Even as his illness was progressing, he was discussing plans to refurbish an old car, which he was no doubt capable of for most of his life. His favorite things were fishing from the piers in New Smyrna Beach, FL, tools, old TV Westerns, classic cars, finding great deals, bringing tired and worn items back to life, and browsing the aisles at Habitat for Humanity and Menards. Larry had collections of things he found useful, and he sometimes needed stuntman skills to find them in his garage, but this was a man who could “git ‘er done”, and for most of his life, he did so. 

One of Larry’s greatest joys was following and supporting Hudson, (his favorite and only grandson), in his fishing and trapshooting activities and competitions. Most recently, he traveled this past summer to a big trapshooting event, despite his cancer treatments.

Larry is survived by his wife of 52 years, Judy; daughters, Krista (Dan) Frerichs and Lindsey Sorenson, both of Brainerd, MN; grandchildren; Afton, Hudson, Jesamine, and Ireland; brother, Dennis (Marilyn) Sorenson, of Marshall, MN; as well as many other family members and friends.  He is preceded in death by his parents; father and mother-in-law, Phil, and Betty Clemens; sister-in-law, Donna Clemens; and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins.

The family wishes to thank the Essentia Oncology team, Dr. Reese, and Good Samaritan Society Hospice for their amazing care throughout the past year. 

A gathering for family and friends will celebrate Larry’s life next summer.

Blessed be his memory to those whom he touched. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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