Obituary: Mary Jean Sorensen, 75 (Updated with arrangements)

Mary Jean Sorensen, 75, Whitewater passed away peacefully on Monday, March 11, 2024, at Fairhaven Senior Living in Whitewater.

Mary was born on May 1, 1948, in Elkhorn, WI to Glenn and Doris (Christiansen) Morgan. She grew up in rural Darien, WI, where she attended a one-room schoolhouse through elementary school and enjoyed many creative adventures with her cousins and four siblings. She looked forward to occasional rides along with her father on his milk truck route and developed a lasting love of flower gardens from her mother, along with an aptitude for preserving massive quantities of homegrown apples and vegetables.

Mary graduated from Delavan-Darien High School in 1966 and was among the first generation in her family to attend college. She earned a bachelor’s degree in education from UW-Madison. While in Madison she met many life-long friends, including her husband Donald Sorensen. They were married on September 2, 1972, in Darien, WI.

Throughout her life, Mary exemplified a deep love for children as well as a childlike wonder. Her children, grandchildren, and relatives fondly remember her enthusiasm for games, crafts, Bible stories, camping, and museums, along with her uncanny ability to remember a song for every topic. She loved family gatherings and was always ready to organize sing-alongs and games of volleyball, football, trivia, or charades. She also cared for enumerable children beyond her family—as a teacher at St. Joseph Catholic School in Fort Atkinson and in the Whitewater School District, and as a servant in her community. She led Girl Scout troops, welcomed in neighbors, and taught Sunday School for over fifty years. She served generously as a member of the First United Methodist Church and later Living Word Fellowship in Whitewater, especially as a leader in the Sunday School, Christian Women’s Club, and prayer ministries.

In her later years, Mary exhibited a faith and resilience that was an inspiration to many as she survived a severe brain hemorrhage. She was always ready with a laugh, a smile, and a loving hand-squeeze. She took great comfort in Psalm 23 and remained uncomplaining and devoted to God through all circumstances. Her loving and faithful personality will be deeply missed by all who knew her.

Mary is survived by her husband Don of Whitewater; children Daniel (Allysse) Sorensen, St. Croix Falls, WI, and Christine (Adam) Jeske, Madison; grandchildren Phoebe and Ezekiel Jeske; siblings Sandra (Ray) Boyd, Texas, Michael Morgan, Texas, and Sharen (Lee) Kwetinski, Verona, WI. She was preceded in death by her parents and sister Karen Morgan.

The family would like to express profound gratitude to the remarkable staff of Fairhaven for the kindness and dignity they afforded Mary during her time there.

A memorial service will be held at Living Word Fellowship on Saturday, May 4, with visitation at 10 a.m., service at 11, and lunch to follow.

Donations may be made in Mary’s honor to Fairhaven (send checks made out to Fairhaven Foundation to 435 West Starin Rd., Whitewater, Wisconsin 53190) or Living Word Fellowship (212 W. Main St., Whitewater, WI 53190.)

Interment will be in the Hillside Cemetery, Whitewater.

Online condolences may be made at

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