Betty J. Sorensen, 100, passed away peacefully, Feb. 8, 2024, at Burlington Memorial Hospital in Burlington.

Betty was born in Norfolk, Nebraska, in 1924. While attending Norfolk High School, she met her true love, Richard M. Sorensen. She married Richard in April of 1944 before he left for duty during World War II as a Naval fighter pilot on an aircraft carrier. When Richard returned from active duty, they had three children, Melody (Tom) Kelter, Jeffrey (Bea) Sorensen, April (Paul) Tellier.

During her life, Betty was involved with many clubs and activities. She was a Theta Rho girl in high school. Betty was a legal secretary and a proofreader for the Norfolk Daily News in Norfolk. After their children were born, Betty was a full-time homemaker. As a former newspaper proofreader, she would enjoy perusing and critiquing her children’s high school themes and their theses for advanced degrees before they were submitted. She was a volunteer for the Methodist Church in Marion, Iowa. As an Eastern Star member, she worked with her daughters who were Worthy Advisors of the Rainbow Girls, and a Cub Scout Den Mother for her son. Betty was a Past President for P.E.O. She volunteered for the Burlington Hospital Auxiliary, working in the hospital gift shop, and sewing special smocked gowns for premature infants who were born at the Burlington Hospital, when Burlington had a maternity ward. She has worked in sales, helping her daughter who was owner of “Material Things,” a former fabric store in downtown Burlington.

Betty enjoyed many hobbies including quilting, smocking, and machine embroidery. She has taught ceramics, played Bridge, taken French classes, enjoyed family campouts, and organizing amazing Easter egg hunts when her grandchildren were little on their three acres in the country. In retirement, Betty and Richard enjoyed trips to Hong Kong and Switzerland, Road Scholar trips across the United States, and cruises.

Betty was preceded in death by her husband of 74 years, Dr. R.M. “Doc” Sorensen, a former Superintendent of the Burlington Area School District; her parents Harry V. and Maggie Belle (nee Holmes) Gillis; sisters Geraldine (Marvin) Barritt and Marjorie (Clyde) Faulkender; in-laws Martin and Bertha (nee Truesdell) Sorensen; brother-in-law Laurel Sorensen; niece and nephew Joanne (nee Barritt) and Keith Martz; great-nephew David Martz; and grandson Branden R. Berger.

Betty is survived by her three children; seven grandchildren, Thomas “Tad” (Melissa) Sorensen, Nicholas (Jenny) Sorensen, Shelby Zeier, Joshua (Mary) Tellier, Benjamin (Erin) Tellier, Michelle (Adam) Wavra, and Ethan (Catherine) Tellier; and sixteen great-grandchildren, Tatum, Rowan, Declan, Nyah, Cadence and Corvin Sorensen, Sean, Lauren, Nathan and Katelynn Zeier; Willa Jean, Zora, Foster and Matilda Tellier, and Mila and Adelyn Wavra.

Pastor Mitch Considine will officiate the funeral service at Miller-Reesman Funeral Home, 620 15th Avenue, Union Grove on Monday, Feb. 19, at 2 p.m. Friends may meet with the family from noon to 2 p.m. A private interment will follow the service at the Southern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery, where she will join her husband.

In lieu of flowers, the family will be using any memorial donations to make a contribution in honor of mom and dad at the Southern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery.

Online condolences may be left at

Comments are closed.