Larkin Mortuary

Bruce Farrell Sorensen

01/25/1931 - 09/09/2017

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Our Dad, Dr. Bruce Farrell Sorensen, neurosurgeon, patriarch to his family and devoted member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints passed away on Saturday, September 9, 2017 at the age of 86 in Salt Lake City.

Bruce was born in Aurora, Illinois on January 25, 1931, the son of Alton H. Sorensen, Sr. and Ruth Bergquist Sorensen.  After graduating from South High school as an All-State center and linebacker on the football team, he entered the University of Utah on an athletic scholarship. Dad served as a missionary in the Central Atlantic States. He was President of his chapter of Sigma Chi fraternity and honored as a “Significant Sig.” He graduated from the University of Utah and married his sweetheart Suzanne the next day on June 6th, 1956.

He graduated from Temple University Medical School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he was Class President and a member of the Babcock Surgical Society.  Dad completed his neurosurgical training at the Cleveland Clinic and practiced neurosurgery in Salt Lake City for 30 years.  He was President of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons and Chairman of the Ethics Committee of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. He said, “I just loved to go to work every morning.”

Bruce served as a Bishop and in Stake Presidencies as well as numerous other assignments in the Church. He served as President of the Texas Houston Mission where he and Suzanne guided and loved their missionaries. Dad served as a counselor in the Salt Lake Temple Presidency until President Gordon B. Hinckley called Dad and Mom to be President and Matron of the Boston Temple.  They loved the Boston Temple.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 61 years, Suzanne Burbidge Sorensen who was his most valued partner and supporting and loving companion.  He is survived by his sons Dr. John B. Sorensen and his wife Marilee, Stephen B. Sorensen and his wife Wendy, Scott K. Sorensen and his wife Marge, Evan B. Sorensen and his wife Heather and daughter Elizabeth Stringham and her husband Dr. James C. Stringham, 22 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren all of whom lovingly called him “Gus.” Also survived by brother Keith B. Sorensen and his wife Carolyn, sister-in-law Winnie Sorensen and brother-in-law Ron Knight.  Proceeded in death by his parents and brothers Alton H. Sorensen Jr., Howard J. Sorensen and sister Elaine S. Knight.

Dad loved good jokes, rice pudding and chocolate cake stuffed in a glass of milk.  He had a great sense of humor and loved to sing. He was direct, fearless and compassionately unwavering in his knowledge of the truthfulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  He is our hero.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, September 16, 2017 at 12:00 noon at the Monument Park Stake Center, 1320 S. Wasatch Drive, Salt Lake City, Utah.  Family and friends may call Friday, September 15, 6-8PM at Larkin Sunset Lawn, 2350 E. 1300 S. and at the Stake Center Saturday 10:30-11:30AM preceding the funeral service.  Burial Salt Lake City Cemetery, 200 North “N” Street.

Recent Condolences

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  • We are so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful righteous life this man lived. Thank you for your legacy, Elder Sorensen, your memory will always live on. Bless you all.

    — Clement Family
  • I was one of his missionaries in Texas. I remember him with love and admiration. He and Sister Sorensen were Mother and Father to me and to all of us while we served, and I have missed them both in the years since the mission, and I mourn with you and your family. I am reminded of a zone conference where he was urging us to stay faithful after our missions. He said that in his mansion in Heaven, he’d have a big table and we were all invited over for a reunion. He looked at us with that piercing gaze he could sometimes have, and he said, “I don’t want any empty chairs at my table.” When I heard of his passing, I thought to myself that he’d gone ahead to prepare his table for us. I thought for a bit about my life, and whether I was on a path that would bring me there. I have some small course corrections to make, I think, but I am still going that direction. His loving guidance, his unwavering faith, his strength, and his calm assurance have had an unmeasurable effect on the course of my life, and will continue to do so until we meet again. I just wanted you to know what he meant to me. May our Father in Heaven comfort you in your loss.

    — Heidi Hales Sutcliffe
  • Dear Sorensen Family,

    I kindly send you my condolences for that great loss that you have experienced. President Sorensen (I served during his presidency in the Texas Houston Mission) will always have a place in my heart for his love as well as Sister Sorensen’s care for all the missionaries. I cannot express my love for them and for you for lending us your dad, husband, grandfather and having the privilege of calling “our” president.

    May the Lord provide you with the peace of heart and mind, not as the world gives it but as Him who has all power, even upon death, gives.

    Please give Sister Sorensen a big and long hug from me and my family.


    Michel Cochegrus

    — Michel Cochegrus