Fontella Olson Sorensen


Preston – Fontella Olson Sorensen, our beloved mother, sister, grandmother, and great-grandmother completed her earthly journey on February 6, 2017 at age 96.

Fontella was born on April 23, 1920 in Virginia, Idaho, to Emil Alvin Olson and Anna Meria Gooch. On the family farm in Virginia, she learned to work and loved to play with her four brothers and three sisters. After graduating from Downey High School, she attended the College of Idaho Southern Branch in Pocatello where she graduated with a two-year certificate in elementary education. As a student, she worked as a telephone switch board operator and enjoyed attending the LDS Institute and dancing every Tuesday night. Her first teaching job was in Swan Lake, Idaho where she met Woodrow W. Sorensen. They were sealed in the Logan Temple on May 21, 1941.

Their life was anchored in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and filled with the fruits of hard work and love of family. They farmed and ranched in Swan Lake where Fontella recalls busy days of running the bustling household. As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Fontella served in Primary, Young Women, and Relief Society. A highlight for her was serving with Woodrow in the Young Women and Young Men organizations.

Fontella earned her bachelor’s degree from Idaho State University in 1965 and taught in the Marsh Valley School District for 24 years. She was always ready to share a story, song, or game. Family and friends were often recipients of her talents; she enjoyed quilting, sewing, gardening, baking, and reading. She delighted in family history work, doing genealogy research, indexing, and extraction work for years. She loved sharing her testimony of Jesus Christ: serving a mission in the Nashville Tennessee Mission, and two missions in the Family History Mission in Salt Lake City, Utah. She felt blessed to work as an ordinance worker in the Washington D.C. and Logan temples. She believed in serving those around her, always thinking of her family, neighbors, or friends.

She is survived by her children Peggy Ann (Fred) Carlson, Gerry (Kathy) Sorensen, Carolyn (Thayne) Thompson, Terrell (Marie) Sorensen, Marvin Sorensen, and Charles (Becky) Sorensen; 29 grandchildren; 89 great-grandchildren; 2 great-great grandchildren; and brother, Dale G. (Renee) Olson. She is preceded in death by her parents, Anna and Emil; her sisters, Estella Olson Dixon, Isabel Olson, Artel Olson Crowther; her brothers, Alvin E. Olson, Earl Elsworth Olson, Cecil Emil Olson; a daughter-in-law, Lynda Sharp Sorensen, and a son, Russell Lee Sorensen. She is finally reunited with her husband, Woodrow, who passed away on May 14, 1979.

The family wishes to express heartfelt gratitude to Access Home Care and Hospice for their loving care.

Funeral Services will be Saturday, February 18 at 1 p.m. in the Swan Lake Chapel, 11584 Cottonwood Road, Swan Lake, Idaho. A visitation will be held prior to the services from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Interment will follow at the Swan Lake Cemetery.

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