My Grandpa

Donald Raymond Sorensen of Vassar, formerly of Flint, age 80, died Sunday, May 8, 2011 after a long illness. The Mass of Christian Burial took place, Thursday, May 12, 2011 at 11:00am at the St. Mary Catholic Church in Mt. Morris. Rev. Fr. Thomas Nenneau will officiate. Donald’s family was present to receive friends at the Miles Martin Funeral Home in Mt. Morris on Wednesday, May 11, 2011 from 11:00am until 9:00pm. On Wednesday evening, family, friends and parish gathered at the funeral home to pray the Rosary at 6:00pm. On Thursday, Donald was taken to church to lie in state from 10:00am until time of Mass at 11:00am. Those desiring may direct memorial contributions to the United Cerebral Palsy Foundation.

Donald was born October 17, 1930 in Flint, Michigan the son of Mr. and Mrs. Hanns and Mary (Fritsch) Sorensen. He and Dolores Raymond were united in marriage April 21, 1951; she preceded him in death December 8, 2009. Donald worked at Buick Motor Division, as a Millwright and was a United Autoworkers Union Representative for 43 years. He served the membership of UAW Local #599 as a Committeeman, Shop Committeeman, National Gear and Axle Council Delegate/Chairman, National Drop Forge Council Delegate/Chairman, Vice President, Education Director/Editor, and as an International Union Representative prior to retirement in 1991. Donald also served the people of Genesee County from 1974 until 1982, as their Chief Animal Control Officer. While at the Genesee County Animal Control, Donald completed the Michigan Law Enforcement Academy and received his Michigan Law Enforcement Officer Certification. Donald worked part time as a Road Patrol Officer at the Grand Blanc Township Police Department for 18 years. Donald also served several elected terms as a Trustee on the Genesee Township Board. He was a member of UAW Local Union #599, The Fraternal Order of Police, F.O.P., and the Labor Union Press Association. He received the Walter P. Reuther Distinguished Service Award for recognition of his service in the United Autoworkers Union. He also was awarded the Pioneers Award from Unity for Justice, in recognition of his work in the early days of the civil rights struggle and is recorded in the Library of Congress. He also worked on many community service projects in Michigan and in Arizona helping to raise funds for the purchase of clothing and shoes for underprivileged and needy children. He enjoyed auto racing, hunting in Michigan and Wyoming, and showing his award winning mint 1969 Sedan Deville in local car shows. He most enjoyed talking about his many grandchildren and great-grandchildren to anyone that would listen.

Donald leaves to cherish his memory, 10 children; Donald and wife, Theresa, Daniel, Cathy and husband, Duane DuFresne, Julie and husband, Glenn Church, Dennis and wife, Mandy, Pamela and husband, David James, David, Karen, Beth and husband, Steve Walker, and Laurie and husband, Ryan Conley; 24 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; brothers, Richard and Arthur (Lee); as well as several nieces, nephews and many friends.

Donald was preceded in death by his parents; wife of 58 years, Dolores; one granddaughter; brothers, Clarence, Elmer, and Mike; and sisters, Leona, Sadie and Alice.

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