Melford N. Sorensen, age 93, of Ripon, passed away on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 at Prairie Place in Ripon. Melford was born in 1921 to Sam and Dorothy (Pope) Sorensen in the Town of Lind, Waupaca County. He graduated from Waupaca High School in June of 1939. He attended the University Of Wisconsin College Of Agriculture for two years, majoring in Dairy Science and Dairy Cattle Genetics. In 1941 Melford moved to Green Lake and was employed by the Green Lake County Dairy Herd Improvement Association as a supervisor for the University of Wisconsin. Melford married Myrtle Spievogel on May 23, 1942 at the Town of Lind Evangelical Lutheran Church, Waupaca, Wisconsin.
In 1942 Melford enlisted in the U. S. Army Air Force and served 36 months on Guadalcanal and other areas of the southwest Pacific as a Staff Sergeant in the Army Airways Communication Squadron. In route to Guadalcanal, Mel's convoy was attacked by a Japanese submarine. The squadron was harassed by "Washing Machine Charlie" with night time bombing raids on Henderson Field.
At the end of WWII, Melford trained at the University of Wisconsin as an insemination Technician and served Green Lake, Fond du Lac, and Winnebago Counties for East Central Breeders/Select Sires. After serving for 45 years, he completed over 150,000 first service cows, a record for Select Sires.
Mel and Mert loved to travel and vacationed all over the United States, in Europe connecting with relatives in Denmark, Australia and in New Zealand where Mel visited during WWII. Mel competed in horseshoe throwing competitions throughout Wisconsin. He and Mert loved to dance, play cards, socialize with friends, and spend time with family. He enjoyed sports, particularly baseball. Mel and Mert were active members of Grace Lutheran Church in Ripon throughout their marriage.
Melford is survived by his children: Sandra Sorensen, Surprise, AZ, Jackie (Ed) Belka, Eau Claire, Richard (Julie) Sorensen, Ripon, and Peter (Mary) Sorensen, De Pere. He has eight grandchildren: Stacey (Tim) Holleran, Smyna, GA, Stuart (Heather) Schrader, Plymouth, MN, Samantha (Jason) Herheim, De Forest, Andrea (Greg) Van Buren, East Troy, Andrew Sorensen, Marinette, Justin (Carissa) Sorensen, Ripon, Nicholas (Danielle) Sorensen, De Pere, and Kate Sorensen, De Pere. Mel is survived by seven great-grand children. He is also survived by his sister in law, Helen Sorensen, Madison. He is preceded in death by his loving wife of 65 years, Myrtle, and his brother, Merwyn.
Funeral services for Mel will be held on Friday, June 27, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. at Grace Lutheran Church, 430 W Griswold St., Ripon, with Rev. Clay Salmela officiating. Friends and Family may visit at the church from 9:00 a.m. until the time of the service. Burial will be at Liberty Prairie Cemetery, Pickett. The family would like to thank the staff of Prairie Place CBRF for their wonderful care of Mel the past three years.
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