Kenneth George “Ken” Sorestad passed away on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2018 at PeaceHealth United General Hospital in Sedro-Woolley, at the age of 89. Ken was surrounded by his loving family. He was laughing, happy and as sharp as a tack until just days before his death. Ken was truly the most positive and optimistic man and loved to laugh and see the good in every person and situation. He made everyone around him feel good and wanted nothing more than health and happiness for his family and friends.
Ken was born on June 2, 1928 in L’Anse, Michigan, the son of Talmer and Borghild (Landstad) Sorestad. He was raised and attended school in Michigan until enlisting and serving in the Merchant Marines as a young man.
He moved to Sedro-Woolley in 1946. As a young man he worked at the Golden Rule Bakery as a retail salesman, delivered laundry for the Sedro-Woolley Cleaners and worked at Skagit Iron Works. In 1955 Ken became a licensed State Farm Insurance Agent which worked well for him as he could sell insurance to his bakery and laundry customers. State Farm became his full-time career and he, along with his wife Eunice as office manager, he operated the State Farm Insurance Office in Sedro-Woolley for 33 years, until their retirement in 1988.
On June 26, 1948 Ken was united in marriage to Eunice Schmidt at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Sedro-Woolley, which was also Eunice’s birthday. They celebrated 62 years together, prior to her death in 2011.
Ken was an accomplished singer. He was a member of the Skagit Valley Chorale and the An-O-Chords Barbershop Chorus for many years and loved singing at church and numerous funerals and weddings. He was a lifelong member of the Bethlehem Lutheran Church and spent many years as a Sunday School and Bible Study teacher and choir director. He was a very dedicated and committed member of Gideon’s International, Skagit Camp.
The Sorestads enjoyed traveling, especially to Hawaii. One very memorable trip to Hawaii was in 1998 that included 16 members of their family, “Grandpa’s Gang”. They also enjoyed several cruises with family. Ken and Eunice had special memories and delightful stories of two separate motorhome trips to the East Coast with their dear friends George and Gladys Miller. Holidays and family times were especially important to Ken: Trips to Penticton, B.C., Ocean Shores, Leavenworth and Harrison Hot Springs. Christmas Eve was always spent at their home with family. Ken’s family and faith were a major part of his life.
Ken’s life was physically and drastically changed in August 1979, when he suffered a motorcycle accident, leaving him paraplegic. While his body was forever changed, his mind, heart and spirit remained strong and stable. He continued to bless and encourage anyone around him with his genuine smile and words of encouragement; he never displayed any pity for himself. He truly represented his faith and always put others before himself.
Ken is survived by his children and their spouses, Cinde Wakeman (Scott), Keith Sorestad (Cyndi) all of Sedro-Woolley and Julie Anderson (Mark) of Burlington; six grandchildren, Kristi Slette (Tore) of Bellingham, Lenny Warren (fiancé Kristin Moran) of Bellingham, Mitchell Sorestad (Courtney) of Bow, Karridi Mauer (Brandon) of Lake Stevens, Corey Meyers (companion Jenny Ridgeway) of Mount Vernon and Randilyn White (Jesse) of Bonney Lake; nine great-grandchildren, Tana Miller-Warren, Kailer & Toriana Slette, Halden & Kathen Sorestad, Preston & Cameron Mauer and Max & Mia White; one great-great grandson, Joey Kaminsky; sister-in- law, Alice Sackman and numerous nieces and nephews. He cherished his “adopted daughter and son”, Tina and Brian Riggins. He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife Eunice in 2011; sisters Bernice (Roland) Saethre, Gladys (Karl) Gould and Lorraine (Chuck) Peterson; brother Adolph (Ella) Sorestad; brother-in-law Richard Sackmann and nephew Ronald Sackmann.
The Sorestad family wishes to acknowledge the doctors and nurses at PeaceHealth United General Hospital in Sedro-Woolley for all their loving and professional care for Ken during his final days. Also, for all the love and gentle care from his caregivers, Veronica Mayorga – his “midnight angel”, Phyllis & Russell Phillips and Debbie White and family and friends. Avery special thanks to nephew Al Sorestad for his love, dedication and commitment to his frequent visits and spiritual support.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Gideon’s International – Skagit Camp, PO Box 152, Mount Vernon, WA 98273,or Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 1006 Wicker Road, Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284, or a charity of your choice.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held on Saturday, February 24, 2018 at 1:00 PM at the Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Sedro-Woolley with Pastor Eric Wangen-Hoch and Ken’s nephew Al Sorestad officiating. Visitation will be available at Lemley Chapel Tuesday through Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM.