Mercedes Sorensen Was Volunteer for Hospital

Mrs. William Sorensen of Fox Hill Village Westwood, and formerly of Edgartown, died last week in Manor Pines, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. She was 91. For many years she had a house, which had been a green house, on the corner of Norton street and Pease's Point Way.

She was born Mercedes Cunningham on May 25, 1912, in Cresco, Iowa, and was better known throughout life as "Mer." Mrs. Sorensen grew up in Rockford, Ill., and was graduated from Rockford High School before going to Rockford College where she majored in music productions. Although she did not graduate, she performed leading roles in both high school and college and later made her singing debut as a member of the Mendelssohn Club.

On Dec. 1, 1934, she married William Sorensen, whom she had met in high school. In 1948 Mr. and Mrs. Sorensen moved to Fairfield, Conn., where Mr. Sorensen was employed as a consulting engineer. It was here that his company gave them a house, and Mrs. Sorensen entertained company guests on a regular basis.

They joined the Black Rock Yacht Club; and when Mr. Sorensen became commodore, Mrs. Sorensen became active on junior committees. While living in Connecticut, Mr. and Mrs. Sorensen had neighbors who constantly spoke of Martha's Vineyard and Mer often asked if she could visit the Island. Finally, Mr. Sorensen said, "Let's get it over with." They spent one week's vacation at the Shiretown Inn in Edgartown, at the end of which they bought a house.

They moved to the Island full-time in 1971; and from then on, Mrs. Sorensen served as a valuable volunteer for the Martha's Vineyard Hospital Auxiliary. For many years she and Mrs. Aliston S. Goff Jr. worked on Edgartown's Open House Tour where Mrs. Sorensen handled the food committee of the Tea House of the August Moon, a huge committee with a lot of work. She also volunteered at the hospital and worked with the committee for the Tree of Lights. Also, she volunteered for the Red Cross fund drive and helped at the admissions gate for the Martha's Vineyard Historical Society.

Mer Sorensen was best known for her lime green Volkswagen beetle which she trimmed with a Christmas tree and drove in the Christmas parade. That same car has carried on its tradition and was in this year's Fourth of July parade.

Mrs. Sorensen was a member of the Federated Church in Edgartown and the Edgartown Yacht Club. In 1996, she moved to the Fox Hill retirement village in Westwood. A year and a half ago she suffered a stroke which left her in a wheelchair, and she recently moved to Florida for the warmer climate and to be near her son.

Mer Sorensen is survived by her daughter, Miss Cynthia Irene Sorensen of Cambridge, Conn., her son, Fred Cunningham Sorensen of Ft. Lauderdale, and two grandchildren, Tia Cameron Sorensen of Ft. Lauderdale, and Britt Becket Sorensen of Brighton.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Martha's Vineyard Hospital.