January 1, 1970 ~ February 12, 2009
Arnold ?Arnie? Sorum
Hillsboro, North Dakota
Arnold Everett Sorum (fondly known as Butch, AE, and Arnie) has now received his ultimate gift ? eternal life in heaven with his sweetheart and rejoicing with all his relatives and friends who have gone before him. Through his 89 years, our father has shown us the way to love and celebrate each day as a gift. Arnie passed away on Thursday, February 12, 2009 at the Hillsboro Medical Center Hospital.
On November 30, 1919 our dad was born to Elmer and Anna (Sundseth) Sorum. He was the oldest of six children (only Arnold, Duane, and Idelle grew into adulthood). Butch grew into quite a young, dashing man who possessed many gifts.
His gift of leadership was well known from the time he was three years old until he passed into eternal life at the age of 89. He had a commanding presence that made others want to be a part of his fun and action. His brother and sister were among the first to know that Butch was the one who would be in charge and take charge for life! During World War II, he became a captain of the United States Army and was honorably discharged in April of 1953. Our dad was very proud of his military service to his country and the friendships he maintained for life. He was a member of the Hillsboro American Legion and VFW for over 60 years and served as post commander. He also served on the Board of Directors at Norwest Bank.
Dad?s gift of hard work and play was evident through the years. He was an enterprising young man ? working on the Sundseth family farm in Halstad, Minnesota, delivering the Fargo Forum with his brother, working at Ole Evans?s grocery store on Main Street, playing his cornet in the Park Gazebo, earning honors at music contests, and graduating from High School in 1938. As an adult, after returning to Hillsboro from military service, he purchased the Standard Oil Bulk Dealership from his friend, Tobias Thompson. This business was expanded to include crop spraying, furnace installation and repairs, gas stoves and grills, and propane gas deliveries. In the late 1950?s he and friend, Kenny Matteson, opened the A&K Dairy Bar on Highway 81 and employed dozens of high school students. There was nothing he couldn?t fix and repair! Dad went on many, many fishing and hunting trips. Dad retired from the Standard Oil Company when he was 55 years old and enjoyed all of his retirement ? traveling, gardening, building furniture, and photography.
Through the years our dad showed us that the gift of learning was a valuable tool to possess. His curiosity and willingness to keep-up-to-date with new technology was such a source of pride. Cameras of all sizes, shapes, and capabilities filled his cabinets and drawers. His darkroom for developing pictures in the basement was always a source of mystery to us. His voice became his photography ? documenting memories for all of us for life. Building furniture for family and friends, creating gorgeous gardens for his sweetheart to enjoy meant he always was researching for the best woods to cut and cure to plane for furniture and the most perfect roses and hibiscus to plant for mom to sit back and enjoy.
A strong gift of faith and family always followed Arnold. He was baptized at Our Savior?s Lutheran Church and was an active member his entire life. His life reflected his strong values and impressed upon his children what was truly important. Helping others, having fun, fun, fun with laughter all around were such a part of who he was and what he represented.
The gift of commitment and love to our mother, Helen Lucille Willett Sorum for over 60 years has always been a shining example to his family. When he met our mother on a blind date taking her on a train from Camp Kilmer, New Jersey to New York City for dinner, dancing, and to Radio City Music Hall, she was charmed by this handsome serviceman. They married six weeks later on October 28, 1943. He was her knight is shining armor, and she adored him. When she died on May 31, 2006, a heart was broken but now two hearts are joined in Christ forever.
Arnold E. Sorum?s final gift was the continued love shown to those who adorned him most: His children: Judy (Bill) Utendorfer, Terry Sorum, Mary (Dale) Skallerud, Barbara (Michael) Watson; grandchildren, Tiffany (James), Robert (Julie), Sean, Patrick, Erik (Kari), and Sara; and all of his great grandchildren. Also surviving are brother, Duane ?Buddy? (Florence) Sorum; sister, Idelle Shull; and his special ?Angels? Linda Kloster and Brenda Stallman. You showed us the way to true happiness, love, and all of the rest by the life you led to the very end. Preceding in death are his parents; his wife, Willie; his brother, Kenneth; his sister, Ann Mae Eleanor; and an infant brother.
To the one and only Arnold E. Sorum, your family says thank you for all of the gifts you have freely shared with us. It has been a pleasure to call you our Dad, father-in-law, grandpa, and great grandpa. You are the best!
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Our Savior?s Lutheran Church Parish Nurse Program or the Hillsboro Medical Center.
FUNERAL: 2 PM Sunday, February 15, 2009 at Our Savior?s Lutheran Church in Hillsboro
VISITATION: one hour prior to the service in the church on Sunday
BURIAL:Riverside Cemetery in Hillsboro
Arrangements entrusted to the care of Wildeman Funeral Home in Hillsboro.