Myron Parley Sorensen, 94, passed away Tuesday, December 22, 2015. He was born to James Parley Sorensen and Rachel Parker Sorensen in Malad, Idaho, on Sept. 30, 1921, the youngest of their four children and the only son. His parents had homesteaded in the Arbon Valley west of Malad some years earlier, and Myron grew up working on the family ranch. He attended schools in Malad and was a good, if not exactly dedicated, student. After graduating from high school in Malad, Myron and his cousin Pierce headed to BYU for a couple of years before leaving on missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1941. Myron went to the Eastern States mission and spent all of that mission in upstate New York, including time at some of the most famous church history sites.
Myron, Pierce and another friend returned to Malad by way of Route 66 and San Bernardino in late 1943 at the end of their missions. Among Myron’s first actions was to look up an attractive and intelligent nursing student he had met at BYU before his mission—Beulah (Bee) Rhodes. She graduated with her nursing degree in August 1944, and they were married in the Salt Lake Temple in October, after the annual harvest on the Sorensen ranch was finished. Myron then joined the Navy, where he became a quartermaster and headed for the western Pacific on the U.S.S. South Dakota, Admiral Bull Halsey’s flagship. When the Japanese surrender was signed in Tokyo Bay on the U.S.S. Missouri in 1945, its sister ship South Dakota was the next one over. Myron spent the rest of his time in the Navy ferrying soldiers and sailors home on the U.S.S. John Hancock, an aircraft carrier.
By the time he returned home to his young wife and the family ranch in 1946, Myron had a daughter—Susan, the first of six children that came to him and Bee. Always active in his church, he was called as the bishop of the Malad Second Ward during the early 1950s, followed by service on the high council and in the stake presidency. At the same time, he ran the family ranch after his father’s retirement, raised his large family and was active in his community and local government. At various times he served as president of the Idaho wheat grower’s association, chairman of the Oneida County school board, an Oneida county commissioner and ten years on the Idaho Wheat Commission.
After his release as the president of the Malad Idaho Stake in 1983, Myron served as a teacher in the Malad Second Ward, as he had for much of his adult life during and between other callings. Myron and Bee subsequently spent 16 years as workers in the Logan LDS temple, which his ancestors had helped build. Their children remember them both as avid readers and proponents of education. Their memories of Myron also include his robust sense of humor, an ad hoc sort of musical talent (singing, playing the clarinet and piano), and an occasional literary flair in storytelling, among many other things. His nearly 70-year marriage to Bee provided his descendants with one model of an unusually successful marital partnership, and he was bereft at her death in July 2014. After a life well spent, Myron was relieved to leave and rejoin her, at the age of 94 in Pocatello on December 20, 2015.
Myron is survived by his six children: Susan Sorensen (Stephen) Baer (Pocatello, Idaho), Stephen (Janet) Sorensen (Pittsford, New York), Nicholai (Jayne) Sorensen (Piedmont, California), Sheila Sorensen (Aaron) Andreason (Spanish Fork, Utah), Sheree Sorensen (James) Budge (Alexandria, Virginia) and Scott (Rose) Sorensen (Jamestown, North Carolina); and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren—even a first great-great-granddaughter. Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, December 29, at 12:00 noon, in the Malad LDS Second Ward Chapel. Friends may visit with the family at the funeral home on Monday evening from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., and Tuesday morning from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Horsley Funeral Home prior to going to the church. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.horsleyfuneralhome.com