It is with sadness, the Sorensen family announces the death of its patriarch Holger at the age of 95 years on November 14 in Vernon Jubilee Hospital. Father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, Holger was born in Aabyhoj, Denmark on July 7, 1918 to parents Laura Doris Rosenfeldt (nee Jensen) and Soren Sorensen. He was one of three children, with a predeceased older brother Soren (1916-1991) and sister Else Berming, 94, still living in Denmark.
During his youth, Holger was a well-known Greco-style wrestler with the sports club Thrott, wrestling throughout Europe and winning many championships. He kept his Thrott membership pin and wore it proudly on his lapel during his long life. He joined the Danish army during the WWII and following the German occupation of Denmark, was one of the underground and resistance fighters.
Post war, he married Anni Louise Moller (now his ex-wife living in Port Alberni) and had two children; Jean (Jane) Rosenfeldt Sorensen of Vancouver and Ron Rosenfeldt Sorensen (ex-wife Leafa) of Port Alberni. The family was part of the post-war exodus of emigrants leaving Europe and the family arrived by boat in New York and took a train across to B.C. They stayed with friends of the family on MayneIsland and then settled in Port Coquitlam, where they lived for several decades enjoying what was then a small town of 5,500 with a rural atmosphere and a large contingency of Danes throughout the FraserValley.
He worked many years in his trade as a master craftsman jeweller having started an apprenticeship as a young teen in Denmark as was the custom of the day. He was able to produce many uniquely crafted items because of his skill, his artistic ability to recreate items (often stolen or lost) from photographs or drawings, and, his quest for perfection when making a piece of jewellery, which defined him as a sought-after journeyman and craftsman. He was employed by many of the larger and most exclusive B.C. jewellery outlets during a career spanning 1950-1990s.
Holger moved to Salmon Arm following a visit to the area and falling in love with the farming and fishing it offered. He enjoyed many of the town’s social activities through the singles’ club and was known to ‘cut a fine rug’ on the dance floor. He would stay in the area nearly four decades living in Silver Creek, Tappen, and finally in downtown Salmon Arm before moving into care at Lander’s Lodge and Bastion Place, where he has spent the later stages of his life.
Throughout his life in Canada, he never lost his affection for his native Denmark and often traveled back to his home town, where he kept in touch with many of his old friends and family.
He is also survived by grandchildren by son Ron; Jamie living in Montreal and Stephani (husband Jason) Dolynny living in Victoria, and, one great-grandson Preston Dolynny. He is survived by family in Denmark including one niece Alita (husband Hans) Tind, nephew Preben Berming, plus many cousins.
Our thanks go out to the staff at both Lander’s Lodge and Bastion Place for their warm and wonderful treatment of Holger while in care. Special thanks to Bastion’s Stephanie Odermatt, RN, who is a truly invested in elder care and sees a unique individual as well as a patient, when many in the medical profession did not. Our thanks also, to those friends in the area who helped dad while he was in care, taking him on outings, and visiting with him. He enjoyed a wonderful 95th birthday party with friends at Bastion.
If there is an epitaph for Holger, it is that he was a very strong man in terms of personality and physical strength. He persevered through his many physical illnesses through sheer will and determination until his last day. It was one of the few wrestling matches where he didn’t get up from the mat.
Cremation was requested by Holger. A celebration of life with many of the friends he enjoyed and respected will be held this spring with a gravesite ceremony planned at Salmon Arm cemetery.