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Diane "Dee" Sorenson

May 8, 1950 January 8, 2020
Diane "Dee"  Sorenson
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Obituary for Diane "Dee" Sorenson

Diane "Dee" Sorenson, age 69, of Jewell, IA, passed away suddenly on Wednesday, January 8, 2020, in Mesa, AZ.

Diane “Dee” Heil Penning Sorenson, 69, of Jewell, Iowa, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on January 8, 2020, in Mesa, Arizona, where she and her husband, George Sorenson, were spending the winter. When not snowbirds, they lived on Little Wall Lake outside of Jewell. A visitation will be held on Thursday, January 16, from 4-7 p.m., at St. Cecilia Catholic Church in Ames, Iowa. A vigil for Dee will immediately follow visitation that evening. A Mass of Christian burial will take place at 10:30 a.m., on Friday, January 17 at St. Cecilia with Father Jim Secora officiating.

Dee was born on May 8, 1950 in Marshalltown, Iowa, to Harold and Irene (Stalzer) Heil. She attended school at NESCO in Zearing, Iowa, from which she graduated in 1968. She went on to attend Iowa State University, where she earned both undergraduate and Master’s degrees.

Dee met Mike Penning during their college days at ISU, when they lived in the same apartment complex. They were married on June 3, 1972 in St. Anthony. The couple resided in Fort Dodge, Iowa, until the mid-80s, when they moved to Jewell, where they raised their children, Erin and Ryan, until Mike’s passing in 1997. Dee taught in multiple area school districts and worked for Heartland AEA as a special education consultant. In her summers off, she was part of an autism training team that traveled across the country to help other educators. Following Mike’s passing, Dee and George, also a widower, supported each other through the grieving of their respective spouses. The two were united in marriage on August 8, 1999. After retiring, Dee was busier than ever, as she substitute taught as much as possible in central Iowa. She loved telling stories about what the kids had done at school that day. Exercising on her own or in group classes was a part of her daily routine, which she liked to follow up with getting massages to relax. A huge college football fan across the board, Dee most loved the Iowa State Cyclones. She and George were not only season ticket holders, but bought an RV solely for the purpose of tailgating in Ames. Dee was an avid reader who loved being able to sit on the deck of the house her dad built for her outside of Jewell or in the sun, by the pool, in Arizona. While in Arizona, Dee picked up hobbies of silversmithing and pottery; she loved to share her finished products of jewelry and horse hair vases with family and friends. In addition to those creative outlets, Dee spent a great deal of time in Zearing with her father, where they were always busy working on projects, whether it be making wine bottles filled with Christmas lights, refurbishing old trunks or attending Catholic Masses together. The greatest joys in Dee’s life were her seven grandkids.

Those left behind are her husband, George Sorenson; daughter, Erin Penning; son Ryan (Ashley) Penning and their children Emmett, Monroe and Lawson; step-daughter Dana (Paul) Caspersen, along with their sons Gabriel and Garner; step-daughter Jen Sorenson (Chad Ziesman) and their children, Roman and Hudson. She is also survived by her father, Harold Heil; sisters Linda (Steve) Lounsberry, Karen (Lee) Eggers and Janice (Phil) Launspach and brother Brian (Kathy) Heil; in addition to many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews and close friends.

Dee was preceded in death by Mike and her mother, Irene.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Dee’s name to the Iowa Chapter of Autism Speaks online at iowawalk@autismspeaks.org or by contacting Kara McKee via email kara.mckee@autismspeaks.org or phone (515) 322-0143.

Boeke Funeral Home in Hubbard, Iowa and Bunker Family Funeral Homes in Mesa, Arizona have been entrusted with the care of Dee and her family.

To plant a tree in memory of Diane "Dee" Sorenson, visit the Tribute Store.

Previous Events

Visitation

Thursday

16

Jan

4:00 PM 1/16/2020 4:00:00 PM - 7:00 PM 1/16/2020 7:00:00 PM
St. Cecilia Catholic Church

2900 Hoover Ave
Ames, IA 50010

St. Cecilia Catholic Church
2900 Hoover Ave Ames 50010 IA
United States

Vigil

Thursday

16

Jan

7:00 PM 1/16/2020 7:00:00 PM
St. Cecilia Catholic Church

2900 Hoover Ave
Ames, IA 50010

St. Cecilia Catholic Church
2900 Hoover Ave Ames 50010 IA
United States

Funeral Mass

Friday

17

Jan

10:30 AM 1/17/2020 10:30:00 AM
St. Cecilia Catholic Church

2900 Hoover Ave
Ames, IA 50010

St. Cecilia Catholic Church
2900 Hoover Ave Ames 50010 IA
United States

Graveside

Friday

17

Jan

2:00 PM 1/17/2020 2:00:00 PM
Evergreen Cemetery

Main St.
Jewell, IA 50130

Evergreen Cemetery
Main St. Jewell 50130 IA
United States

Cemetery Details

Location

Evergreen Cemetery Final Resting Place

Main St.
Jewell, IA 50130

Main St. Jewell 50130 IA
United States

Memorial Contribution

Autism Society of Iowa

P.O. Box 65311
West Des Moines, IA 50265
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