Dick Sorenson has been chosen by the Salina Lion’s Club as their 2022 Parade Grand Marshal.
Dick was born “over the river” near Aurora to Phoebe and Guy Sorenson September 26, 1928. His family lived there until he was school aged when they moved to Salina. He and his younger sister GuyAnn attended schools in Salina and his father farmed and punched cows. Phoebe worked at Burns Saddlery for many years.
Dick met his wife Joyce Anderson in Axtell and the two had five children together. TerryLynn (Stuart) Memmott, both deceased, Sandra Peterson, MelRee (Val) Frye, James (Julie) Sorenson, and Jeffrey (Debbie) Sorensen. He worked for Sorenson Electric for over 20 years and punched cows with the boys.
He and his wife lived in a one room home in Salina and when the family began to grow, he built the home where he still lives. It has been a source of pride and joy to him in all the years he’s spent in it.
He said he’s loved his life and he’s “done everything a cowboy could want to do”, and he and his family enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping, snowmobiles, and horse riding. Buffalo, pheasants, and deer hunting were highlights of his life, as was “chasing lions ‘till we dang near got shanghaied’!
Back in the day lions would roam near the town and Dick and his friends would often get called to take care of them, and after treeing them and getting them roped up, he’d bring them home and feed them and take care of them as pets.
Horses were always a big part of Dick’s life, and he remembers racing his little Shetland pony in the races in Richfield when he was very young. He continued punching cows with the Wayne County boys until he was well into his eighties, and he still keeps in touch with the cowboys he grew to love.
“I learned a lot and I’ve lived a good life,” he said. “I’ve done a lot of things I shouldn’t, but I’m not a big sorry for it. I especially love the people I’ve worked with and lived with. They’re the greatest people in the world and I love every one of them.”
He’s traveled to Alaska and throughout the United States to visit friends and family and says he has no regrets, and he wouldn’t trade what he had for anything, except he’d have like to keep his wife a while longer.
Since his wife’s passing in 1988 he’s continued to meet some great friends, such as Gladys Perry, and her family has continued to take ‘real good care’ of him and his family.
He was surprised to be honored as the Grand Marshal but said he’s grateful for the honor, and he’s happy he has so many friends and neighbors and can be a part of what’s going on. He continually serves them to this day, though he is 93 years old, and he is always glad to help anyone who needs it.