Kerstin Sorensen, 88, passed away on Monday, November 1, 2021. Kerstin was born April 14, 1933, in Klippan, Sweden, to Hans and Ella Larsson. She was the oldest of three children, with a sister, Siv, and a brother, Larsake.
Kerstin had plans to study to become a Lutheran pastor when she met Henning Sorensen, her Danish Viking. Henning was temporarily working in her small home town of Rostanga, Sweden while he was waiting to move to the United States. Family lore is that Kerstin and Henning met when Henning was repairing a wall in Kerstin’s family’s back garden that had been inadvertently blown up by the construction team. The loss to the Swedish Lutheran ministry was offset by the gain to rural Indiana, when Kerstin’s life plans changed. She decided to join Henning in a move to the United States in 1955, working initially at Irene Byron Hospital near Huntertown, with the idea that the time spent in the United States would determine whether Kerstin and Henning were meant to be together. Kerstin and Henning were married in Chicago on August 10, 1957, and they began their married life in LaOtto, Indiana. Kerstin’s family believes that she made the right decision.
Kerstin never gave up her dreams of additional education, and took college classes for many years, beginning with a course or two a year in 1957 at Indiana University, and continuing at St. Francis College for many years thereafter, while raising their four children. She received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from St. Francis in 1975 and 1976, almost twenty years after beginning her first college course in the United States. The education and support Kerstin received at St. Francis meant the world to her; she had a great love for St. Francis College, and she had many friends there.
Kerstin worked as a Volunteer Coordinator for the Northeastern Center in Kendallville, and developed and implemented many outreach programs. She received the Sagamore of the Wabash Award from the Governor of Indiana and the Jefferson Award from WPTA, in recognition of the impact that she had on others.
Although Kerstin became a citizen of the United States in 1993, she never lost her love for Sweden, and returned often to visit friends and family. She enjoyed sharing Sweden’s language and culture, giving presentations to groups while wearing traditional Swedish attire, and also taught Swedish and provided translation services.
Kerstin loved children and animals, and originally wanted twelve children; the four children she and Henning had apparently were so wonderful that the additional eight children were not needed. Surviving Kerstin are her sister, Siv Spang; her children, Jens, Lars (Dominique), Nina (Dennis Schoff) and Lena Yarian (Steve Allen, partner); and six grandchildren, Kat and Maggie Schoff, Spencer and Brittmarie Ella Yarian and Tyler and Nicolette Sorensen.
Kerstin and Henning lived in their home in LaOtto for 54 years, before moving to Towne House Retirement Center in 2017. Henning sadly passed away in 2019. Kerstin received great care from the nurses and aides at Towne Square and Towne Harbour at the Towne House and by the nurses and others at Heartland Hospice. Her family wishes to express their appreciation and gratitude for all those wonderful people. Per Kerstin’s request, no services will take place.
Arrangements Entrusted to Thomas Funeral Home – Garrett, IN