Donald E. Sorensen

July 7, 1963 - April 18, 2017

Service Date: May 6, 2017


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Obituaries » Donald E. Sorensen

Donald E. Sorensen, of Harpers Ferry, WV, passed away on April 18, 2017 at the age of 53. Don was born in Long Island, NY to Anita Thompson of Elizabeth City, NC and the late Elmer Sorensen. Don is survived by family and friends who loved him.

As a son of a Coast Guard officer, Don lived in many ports of call. The Sorensen family started with Don in Long Island, New York. With the family on the move, we find Don as a toddler in Honolulu Hawaii becoming a big brother. Future ports of call included Seattle Washington, Juneau Alaska, and Elizabeth City, NC.

Interests varied for Don as much as ports of call. Don loved hiking and fishing in Alaska and time spent on the boat. He enjoyed swimming and surfing in the Outer Banks and this love followed him into his adulthood with countless excursions to Duck, Kitty Hawk, Ocracoke, Hatteras and numerous trips back to Alaska. Another great love of Don’s was food; his favorite being seafood. The influence of the ocean spawned this love and we would find Don most enjoying catching, preparing, and cooking the same.

Don graduated high school in Elizabeth City and worked for a few years with Newport News Shipbuilding. Realizing there was a big future in computers, Don enrolled and graduated with honors from ECPI in 1986, located in Tidewater VA. Don began his professional career with Electronic Data Systems (EDS). Don’s work with EDS found him living in Detroit MI, Reston VA, and back to Detroit. Concerns with constant downsizing, Don left EDS and took a position with Nextel in Northern VA. Again, with similar downsizing concerns, Don found his way back to EDS/HP. Through his work, Don forged many lifelong relationships with a few friends that can only be described as family now.

During 2008-2011 timeframe, initial symptoms of Ataxia started to affect Don in ways most would not understand. Ataxia is described as a progressive degenerative neurological disorder with no effective treatment. Consider if Parkinsons and MS had a baby, and the baby was adopted by ALS.

Never stopping in spite of the medical condition, as an active member on the JHU Ataxia Support Group Advisory Board, Don enjoyed meeting new people and engaging in new activities, to include adaptive sailing in the Baltimore Harbor, attending various Ataxia wellness programs and medical meetings to obtain more relevant information on the Ataxia treatment progress.

“Bucket List” activities included a visit to Wallops Island to witness OSC’s explosive unmanned space launch, ruby hunting in North Carolina, an opportunity to meet Ben Davidson, Host for Suspicious Observer YouTube Channel – a favorite YouTube site for several years and most recently, enjoy a favorite a Capella group Home Free concert with good friends at the Strathmore Music Hall in Bethesda, MD. Amongst all these activities, most important was the Commitment Ceremony with his sweetheart in December 2015 at the beautiful Hillbrook Inn, in Charles Town, WV.

Relegated to “working from home”, Don was able to continue working and be productive up until March 2017, when his employment was terminated. Don passed away in Las Vegas, Nevada while on a much deserved vacation. His life was cut short too soon and he will be dearly missed.

The family will receive visitors and share remembrances at Uvilla United Methodist Church in Harpers Ferry WV on May 6th from noon to 4pm.

In lieu of flowers or other gestures of sympathy, please submit charitable donations to
“Johns Hopkins University”,
c/o Fund for Johns Hopkins Medicine
550 North Broadway, 7th Floor Baltimore, MD, 21205
Please include a note indicating the donation is in memory of Don Sorensen to benefit the Ataxia Center in the Department of Neurology. Memorial gifts can also be made securely online at