LaMoine Charles Sorenson died peacefully at the age of 85 on Aug. 8, 2018, at the North Big Horn Hospital.
LaMoine was born on Aug. 8, 1933, in New England, North Dakota. He was the first of three sons born to Denit and Dorothy Sorenson. He graduated from New England High School in 1951 and went on to trade school at Dunwoody Institute in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He married Verla Luella Twombley on May 17, 1953, in St. Onge, South Dakota, and by March 1954, they had begun their family of six children.
LaMoine began Sorenson, Incorporated, a family-owned heavy electrical contracting business. The business is now run by LaMoine’s sons and is known as S.E., Incorporated. He traveled much of the western United States building power lines, taking his family with him whenever he could.
To be able to get home faster when the family didn’t accompany him, he learned to fly private aircraft, though he was always a student pilot. His sons were influenced by this and most are pilots now, too. The family finally settled in Deaver in 1965, where Verla managed the small family farm and children. Except for a two-year stint as a partner at Sam Flood Chevrolet in Lovell, LaMoine continued to build power lines around the country until he retired in 1983. He continued as a board member for S.E., Incorporated.
Family vacations often included an equipment sale or a viewing of a possible power line route, but it was always fun and always special, from coastal camping to Disneyland to a Bahamian cruise on a schooner. It was on this cruise that LaMoine first heard the song Yellow Bird. It has been his favorite ever since and it was playing when he took his last breath.
Before Verla’s death in 2003, the couple developed waterfront lots along the Colorado River for Hidden Valley Land Development. They spent many winters in the warm air of California, and the family would join them whenever possible.
As retirees, LaMoine and Verla traveled the world. Destinations included Belgium, Spain, Germany, Iceland, Denmark, Mexico, Canada, and Peru. They also explored the eastern and central United States. LaMoine was not able to drive in the last few years of his life — giving up his car, which he did grudgingly, was difficult; in fact, it was one of the hardest things this family has ever had to do.
When he wasn’t traveling with his wife, he was working on his latest project. He always had a project going. One of the most memorable is the restoration of the Sorenson Ranch on Sage Creek in the Pryor Mountains. Each summer he would take a crew of the younger grandkids to the ranch to live and work. His mission was to teach the kids a strong work ethic and life lessons. His favorite question to the grandkids to help them think before acting was, “What would you do if you were stranded on a desert island?” At the ranch, LaMoine and Verla also hosted an annual steak fry for friends and family for many years.
LaMoine also participated in civic duties. He was a Deaver town council member, a Deaver cemetery board member, a voting member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Lovell, and a board member for the Pryor Mountain Mustangs. Additionally, he was generous to the Town of Deaver. He inspired the Veterans Memorial Park and monument and saw the project through to completion; he donated land for a parking lot; and was instrumental in the building the Memorial Kitchen in the Deaver Community Hall.
LaMoine’s health began to fail in 2013. He moved into assisted living and eventually the New Horizons Care Center, where he made many friends and was well cared for by nurses and staff.
LaMoine was preceded in death by his wife of 50 years, Verla; his parents, Denit and Dorothy; one brother, Warren; and two grandsons, Alex Peer and Matthew Sorenson. He is survived by one brother, Lowell of Big River, California; six children, Craig (Vicki) of Deaver, Mark (Mona) of Deaver, Ronda Peer of Deaver, Jhan (Becky) of Missoula, Montana, Steve (Tara) of Cody, and David (Lea) of Lovell; 15 grandchildren; and 21 great grandchildren.
Viewing will be held at Haskell Funeral Home in Lovell from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. Funeral services will be held at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Lovell at 10 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 17, 2018, with interment at the Deaver Cemetery immediately after. A luncheon will follow at the Deaver Town Hall and all are invited. Donations may be made to New Horizons Care Center or St. John’s Lutheran Church.