Ione Maxine Sorensen, 81, of Mesa, Ariz., formerly of Kenmare, passed away Friday, Jan. 24, 2014, at the Caring Heart Terrace, in Mesa.
Ione was born Feb. 6, 1932, in Burke County, to Art and Anna (Nygaard) Anderson. She was the Class of 1950 valedictorian of Flaxton High School, in Flaxton. She was employed at the Bowbells bank prior to marrying Gordon Sorensen on Oct. 5, 1952. They moved to California where Gordon completed mortuary school. They then moved to Grand Forks and later to Tioga in 1958. She worked as the office manager in the family funeral home. In 1967, they purchased Ringen Funeral Home in Kenmare and worked at Sorensen Funeral Home until 1975. Ione and Gordon then purchased and operated a grain farm in Kelliher, Sask. In 1981, her husband passed away and she began spending her winters in Arizona, eventually moving there. Ione worked for Carr-Tenney Mortuary from 1984 until 1991. She retired briefly and then worked as the office manager in her son's accounting firm for the next 14 years and retired at the young age of 76.
Her favorite job in Arizona was the role of grandmother. Ione touched the lives of everyone she met. Her kindness and friendship was unconditional and she was everyone's best friend. Ione often wondered why total strangers would confide their life stories and struggles to her. She may not have known but the rest of us knew God handpicked Ione to represent him as an angel on earth. The best gift Ione could bestow upon someone was a prayer that was answered.
She was preceded in death by: her husband, Gordon; her parents; and brothers, Darvin and Art Jr. "Sonny".
Ione is survived by: her daughter, Judy Petersen, of Henderson, Nev.; son, Randy, of Mesa; brother, Larry Anderson, of Des Lacs; granddaughters, Jaime Frink of Neenah, Wis., and Dena Petersen of Mesa; and great-grandchildren, Cole, Madison and William.
A family and friends gathering and visitation will be today, Jan. 28, from 6 to 8 p.m., at Carr-Tenney Mortuary, 2621 S. Rural Rd., Tempe, AZ 85282 with remembrances being said at 6:45 p.m.
A graveside service will be held Friday, May 23, at 10 a.m. at Bethel Cemetery in Powers Lake.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to the Alzheimer Foundation of America.
Please visit (www.carrtenneymortuary.com) to leave Ione's family online condolence messages.