Don Sorenson

August 25th, 1956-November 24th, 2020

Donald Clifford Sorenson, the Discoverer of New Worlds for those that knew him best, passed away suddenly on November 24th, 2020, at the age of 64.

He was born to Clifford and Marie Sorenson on August 25th, 1956. After graduating college from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology with a degree in Electrical Engineering, Don moved to Salt Lake City, UT where he met the love of his life LeeAnn Coleman. Together they had two children, Donielle and Steven.

Don had a quiet brilliance about him that was always in high demand and valued in every job that he held. He was at his best when focused on emerging or novel challenges, absorbing new technologies and techniques quickly and then in collaboration with others to apply them in creative ways to whatever field he was working in. Much of his career was based in the Cable industry, but his heart has always been in renewable energy.

Don strove to be a Champion of the Earth, looking to help find and develop creative, sustainable solutions to reduce Climate Change. Starting early in his career in wind-based energy, he eventually moved on to solar-thermal and photovoltaic solutions. Once retired, he was actively involved in the Sierra Club and Citizens’ Climate Lobby where he publicly represented them, and even developed his own consultant company for alternative energy.

Throughout his life, Don was always an active individual. Sailing was a huge focus for him and his family from the early 80’s and through the 2000’s and 2010’s. He loved racing sailboats, whether the race took place in the lakes of Utah, New Mexico, and Colorado, or on the Salish Sea in Washington, he was an eager participant. Once the family, ultimately, tired of racing, Don turned his attention back to his childhood sports of skiing and of mountain biking in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, but he always had a boat, in one form or another, for the summertime fishing and camping seasons.

Family has always been very important to Don, and so after retiring, Don and LeeAnn moved back to Washington state to be closer to their daughter, Donielle, and granddaughter, Amelia, who had just turned 2. Steven joined them in moving to Washington shortly after.

Once in Washington, Don’s interest also turned back towards music where he began to play the piano again, as well as play and build guitars. This was a pastime spent with both children during their high school years while supporting both by learning alto sax, tenor sax, and the craft of repairing them.

Don’s commitment to the Earth and conscious effort to minimize his carbon footprint helped drive his family to choose Recompose for his afterlife. Washington State had just approved legislation to allow composting for humans the year before and it went into law in early 2020. Knowing that this is what Don would have wanted, the family reached out to Recompose, who was just getting started and technically not taking any new clients, to see if they had room for Don. Joyfully they did and Don was number 4 in the world to undergo this process; thus, instead of creating more of a carbon footprint, became nurturing soil that is now being used to help grow new trees and life on the family’s property in the Pacific Northwest.

Don was survived in death by his soulmate LeeAnn Sorenson, his two kids Donielle West and Steven Sorenson, his grandchild Amelia West, his two older sisters Katie Walton and Esther Paap, and several nieces and nephews. As a husband, father, and friend, he’ll be deeply missed. If you wish to donate on his behalf, the Climate Reality Project represents one of Don’s greatest passions to evoke change. He was trying to save the world from climate change until the end.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Join our growing community working to bring human composting to the world.

Land Acknowledgement

Recompose acknowledges we make our lives and livelihoods on the lands of the Coast Salish People, specifically the Duwamish People. We honor with gratitude the Duwamish People past and present, the land itself, and the Duwamish Tribe.

Colonization is an active, persistent process. Indigenous communities continue to be resilient in protecting their ecological and cultural lifeways and deathways despite ongoing oppression. Recompose respects, shares, and supports this commitment to climate healing and environmental justice. Join Recompose in contributing to Real Rent Duwamish.