Smokey Sorensen

Smokey Sorensen

Salina, Utah – Dent G. “Smokey” Sorensen, age 93, of Salina, passed away December 7, 2023, in Monroe, Utah.  He was born April 25, 1930, in Salina, Utah, a son of Max Dean and Hazel Berniece Okerlund Sorensen.  He was a remarkable individual who left an indelible mark on the lives of those he encountered. It is with heavy hearts that we announce his passing, but we take solace in cherishing the memories and lessons he imparted during his time with us. 

Growing up during the Great Depression, Smokey learned the value of hard work from a young age. His determination and resilience were evident as he sold milk around town, contributing to his family’s livelihood. Despite his responsibilities, he always found time to indulge in his passion for sports, particularly basketball, baseball, boxing, and track. Alongside his older brother, Bry, Smokey dominated the local sports scene, leaving an unforgettable impression in the county. 

During his senior year of high school, fate intervened, and Dent crossed paths with the love of his life, Valeen Olsen. Their love blossomed, and they exchanged vows on March 25, 1949, in Axtel, Utah. The couple embarked on their journey together, attending college in Cedar City that fall.  

Smokey’s athletic prowess continued to shine at Southern Utah University, where he excelled in baseball, track, and especially basketball. His exceptional skills as an outside shooter and his ability to make effective and unpredictable passes earned him a formidable reputation within the league. In recognition of his achievements, the university inducted him into their Athletic Hall of Fame in 1985, cementing his legacy in Cedar City. Despite facing a career-ending knee injury during his junior year at Utah State University, Dent’s passion for education and athletics remained unwavering. He returned to his hometown of Salina, assuming the role of a physical education instructor and athletic coach at North Sevier High School. For over 35 years, he dedicated himself to teaching and coaching, positively influencing countless young individuals throughout Sevier County. During this time, he also taught Drivers Ed to countless students throughout the area. Dent Sorensen’s impact on the community is immeasurable, and his influence will be felt for generations to come.  

Smokey lived a life full of adventures and collected countless stories along the way. He worked hard so he could enjoy life to the fullest. He had a true cowboy spirit, and created his legacy with help of Razor, the desert horse, who has become a landmark in the San Rafael Swell. 

Smokey’s legacy is defined by his profound bond with Razor. Razor symbolizes Smokey’s cowboy lifestyle and serves as a constant reminder of his adventurous spirit, love for the outdoors, and deep connection with nature. Razor embodies the ruggedness, beauty, and wildness of the surrounding area, representing the very essence of Smokey. As a cherished symbol, Razor stands tall in the San Rafael Swell, leaving a lasting impression on the community and perpetuating Smokey’s legacy.

Smokey’s zest for life was infectious, and he lived it to the fullest. He always worked hard so that he could relish in the joys of play. His invention of the Ultimate Dutch oven showcased his adventurous spirit and determination to follow his dreams. Above all, Dent cherished his family and the precious moments they shared. The memories created with Smokey are treasures that will forever hold a special place in our hearts. 

As we bid farewell to Dent “Smokey” Sorensen, we mourn the loss of his jokes, his one-of-a-kind stories, and the void left by his departure. Whether his tales were true or false, we may never know, but the impact he had as a role model and inspiration is undeniable. His life serves as a testament to the fulfillment that can be found in living with passion and purpose. Dent Sorensen, you will be deeply missed, but your legacy will continue to inspire us all.

Smokey is survived by his children: Dana Rae Sorensen, Craig and Wendy Sorensen,  Denene and David Torgenson, all of Salina; Eddie Sorensen of Cedar Hills; 11 grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; 3 great-great-grandchildren; brother: Ted and Linda Sorensen of Moab; sisters-in-law, Louie Sorensen of Salt Lake City; Pat Sorensen Williams of Beaver Dam, Arizona.

He is preceded in death by his parents, his wife, and brothers: Bry Sorensen and Nard Sorensen.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, December 16, 2023, at 12 Noon in the Salina LDS Stake Center, 98 West 400 North in Salina, where friends may call for viewing Friday evening from 6 to 8 P.M. or Saturday morning from 10:00 to 11:30 prior to the services.

Live streaming of the services can be found at: under Dent’s obituary about 15 minutes prior to starting time.

Burial will be in the Salina Eastside Cemetery under the care of the Springer Turner Funeral Home of Richfield and Salina, Utah.

Online guest book at:

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