John Sorlien, 87

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 12, 2010

John Christian Sorlien, 87, of Portland, Ore., passed away Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2010, in Gresham, Ore. He was born on April 7, 1922, in Hesper, Iowa, to Olvin and Selma (Burreson) Sorlien. He graduated from high school at Rake, Iowa.
John graduated from Luther College in March 1943, as part of the V7 program during World War II. After Naval training at New York City, he was commissioned Lt. (j.g.) John Sorlien. He served on an LST in the Mediterranean area for 16 months. He was a communications officer, serving with invasions of Italy and Southern France. When he returned to the United States, he was stationed in Portland, Ore. He married Anna May Lettow of Portland on Aug. 11, 1945. After his discharge, John worked as an accountant for a variety of Portland grain companies from 1945 until his retirement in 1984, except for one year when he taught in Olivia, at the high school. He was a longtime member of Trinity Lutheran Church. He was an accomplished musician, playing baritone, the organ and accordian; and was active for many years with his church. He enjoyed woodworking and built his own home.
He is survived by his wife, Anna, of Portland; sons: Peter Sorlien (Jean) of Fairview, Ore., and Steven Sorlien (Joyce) of Tualatin, Ore.; grandchildren: Holly Jesse, Daniel Sorlien, Scott Sorlien, Brian Sorlien, Matthew Sorlien, and Eric Sorlien; and five great-grandchildren. Also surviving are his brother, the Rev. Paul Sorlien (Sandra) of Underwood, Iowa; sisters: Naomi Jasmer of Willmar; Grace (Norbert) Johnson of St. Ansgar, Iowa; Ruth (Erwin J.) Larson of Austin; Lois Fossen of Minnetonka.
Preceding him in death were his parents: Pastor and Mrs. S. O. Sorlien and his youngest sister, Eunice (Thomas) Chomicz, Chicago. (The Rev. S.O. Sorlien served parishes at Hayward, Trondhjeim, Oakland and Moscow as well as other parishes in North Dakota, Iowa, and Minnesota.)
Graveside services will be held on Friday, Feb. 19, at 2 p.m. at the Willamette National Cemetery in Portland.

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