Alice Sorensen
(1945 - 2016)

Alice Sorensen

California, United States of America
March 29, 1945

California, United States of America
August 19, 2016

Guest Book
dear alice, we all miss you at work. we spent so much time with you. years. laughing together, bitching together, running and running to get the job done. you always inspired me with your genuine from the heart kindness given to the most difficult people. i will always remember the real kindness you showed to people. the stories from your family about your determination to get things done, held true at work too and it was evident daily. you are an incredible woman miss alice. i miss you. tried to call your number hoping family would answer. i don't know if your family knew about your close relations with your work family or if they had any contacts with any of us. daljit told us about your passing but didn't give me any numbers to call probably due to confidentiality. you were an inspiration. a big one. i love you and miss you. lisa
lisa stead (co worker, friend)
June 24th, 2017
I am sorry about the passing of your love one Mrs Sorensen. Coming together to share memories can bond your family even closer. As the days go by our Father in heaven will give you strength. Psalms 46:1
Paula Benson
January 21st, 2017
Rest in peace. I know you would have liked this
<a href="">website</a>
Annica Furuseth
October 20th, 2016
Auntie Alice,You are an amazing woman,with the greatest sense of humor,you always made me laugh.You had many joke to tell.My favorite was always, "The Bloody Tiger"which you used your, "Proper English Voice"like you were from another country,i loved it!Many times i would here the "F Bomb" always going off,when things would catch your interest.We share that you know.As a child i loved to stay at your home.You were so inviting and full of love.I could never get enough hugs, even though you had plenty to give.I have never seen you without a huge smile on your face.That is how i will always remember you.I miss you already.I will always love you.I bet in heaven you will keep everyone laughing.You will be the brightest shining light.Love you always and forever.Till we meet again...God be with you.
Clairese Cunningham (niece)
September 13th, 2016
Aunt Alice I always loved your spontaneity & your witty humor. I could always count on a laugh or advice from you. Whichever I received benefited me greatly. I am so glad I got to see you before you passed. I will miss you immensely. Love you always your nephew Bryce
Bryce Stacey (nephew)
September 13th, 2016
Alice, so surprised that you left us so soon. I will always cherish the trust and friendship we had and the fun we had both on and off the job. The loyalty that only true friendship that only comes only once in a while between people. I will miss your "farkelberries"
Janice Todd (Friend)
September 12th, 2016
Mom, I have so much to say, but am having a hard time figuring out where to start. In the last week, it's as if I've had photographic flash cards waving before my eyes; cards that denote dates, places, and times that we've shared over the last fifty years. And each memory seems more important than the next. I guess I have to resign to the fact that it's impossible to define the bond that we've had in a few short paragraphs.

Mom, you've always been my refuge. Even when I had to fight to be with you as a child, the security of being held in your arms was immeasurable. The close bond that you and I have always had was a constant, from beginning to end. Despite the fact that you're no longer physically here, a big part of that bond will always survive through your spirit. You were always my safety net, especially when I made decisions that entailed walking dangerous tightropes and taking risks. When I was sick, you were always there to make me laugh and carry me through the difficult times. And when you were sick, I did the same for you. During life's tragedies, we always came together and formed a union that was unshakable. We took good care of each other, mom. And God knows, we both went through some pretty trying times. I'll always cherish those times, as difficult as they may have been.

When you decided to go back to college and become an RN, I have to admit that I was shocked. But that's how you've always rolled, mom. You plowed right through obstacles like a bulldozer and never looked back. I was so proud of you as I sat in the auditorium and watched you walk to the podium and get your diploma. You have no idea what that meant to me and how much that inspired me to follow suit. Earlier this year when you helped nudge me back into school, I had a million reasons to stop. You told me the only thing I had to stop was developing new excuses not to continue classes. You were right, mom. I will finish my program, and I'll finish it in your honor, armed with your love, ambition, passion, sense of humor, and optimism.

You were never afraid to try anything new, which at times really threw me for a loop! Like your parasailing and ultra-light flights. You were amazing, mom. I would have never tried any of these daredevil things if it weren't for you taking the lead. I will always remember our road trips together, the hobbies we had together like collecting shells, decorating, and art. In the last 20 years, our relationship as mother and daughter was just perfect. Because of the fact our relationship had become so wonderful, the difficult years of my childhood faded into oblivion. And I know you felt the same way.

I feel your spirit within me, mom. In that sense, we are one in the same and will be forever; I am a "mini" version of you in so many ways! I still feel your hugs and your kisses on my face. I still hear your voice and your laugh, and will bask in memories of you until I take my last breath. We will meet again in heaven, mom, and until that time comes, I pray that your spirit is finally at rest and free of the burdens of this world. I love you with all my heart. Your daughter
Dawna Westphal (Daughter)
September 10th, 2016

For some reason, the first though that surfaces itself through my mind is the moment when I was just a baby sitting in your huge Great Danes (Borg) bowl having a blast swimming. I tried repeating this scenario just a few days ago but for some reason, at 6'2" 230 lbs, I am unable to fit into a large dogs bowl anymore. My early years growing up with you were filled with excitement, from all the amazing junk food you'd let me eat, followed by sheer terror, as you would let me watch any movie I would want... and I loved it (despite the many paid visits to the shrink afterwards). I remember the absolutely amazing waffles you would make for me during the many times I would wake up in the morning after staying the night. Perhaps one of the greatest memories I have with you were the times we spent together at one of America's no longer existent and most loving events, the Drive-In. We would produce paper grocery bag sized popcorn containers, and acquire 6 liters worth of any soda pop I wanted. Then you would fill my pockets with all the spare change you had, point to the arcade in the middle of the lot, and tell me to live life. Even now as I write this it brings tears to my eyes because these were times I experienced one hundred percent happiness and did not have the pressures and expectations we ALL have now as adults. You were sincerely dedicated to having fun and that is exactly what we did.

Unfortunately, as I got older, life seemed to creep its way in and slowly removed our time together. My past endeavors took me away from everyone really, including you grandma. I would really only get to experience your presence during the holidays where they really were fun and memorable times. You were always involved in the family games we would play and everyone would hone their attention on you because you would light the whole room up with your laughter and comedy like personality. And even with our somewhat distant lives from one another, you always made a strong presence and showed involvement in the moments in my life such as my graduations and wedding engagements. I never expected anything at all really but you were the one to demonstrate amazing gestures for me because I know you loved me and wanted me to be happy. Well, I definitely am a happy person and even more so because I had a wonderful grandma like you in my life. I'm going to miss you with all my heart and leave my prayers with you as you leave this world and enter the gates of heaven. Rest well my grandmother, I love you.
Adam Westphal (Grandson)
September 10th, 2016
Your were an Intelligent, beautiful, funny & awesome woman, I will miss your smile and your hugs I love you Auntie Alice fly with the angels till we meet again!!!
Sylvetta Stacey Lombardi (Neice)
September 9th, 2016
Like all people, my dear mother-in-law, Alice, was governed by the laws of physics. It is a scientific fact that hearts and clocks slow down as they approach the speed of light. Alice's heart reached that milestone in the late afternoon of Friday, August 19th, transforming her matter into energy, into pure white light. Though she is no longer with us, she is all around us. Her belief in God, coupled with the billion memories we have of her make her spirit perpetual, for death gives us peace, eternal youth, and immortality. All of the lives she touched will continue to find inspiration in the remarkable way she transformed her own life into such a beautifully dedicated and loving force.

And now, the memories...
I couldn't have asked for a better mother-in-law, although early on, our relationship could be defined as "bittersweet" at best. Despite being Catholic and of Danish ancestry, Alice (aka "Ma") was the quintessential Jewish mother; a carrier of a highly contagious Yid-danish neurosis, transmitted with subtle passive-aggressive behavior that methodically weaves itself into the double helix of one's DNA. It's a style of mothering that can be broken down into three distinct but inter-connected components: 1) Anxiety in all its guises, transferred to a person with the efficiency of an intravenous transfusion; 2) Guilt, manifested in a vast array of virtually unreachable expectations, and, 3) The ability to inflict shame and inadequacy to (somehow) shape a person's character and moral worth. Yes, I unknowingly married into a quasi-Jewish family. The statue of the Virgin Mary on Ma's bookshelf was obviously just a smoke-screen!

At times, Ma treated me like an estranged husband with leprosy rather than her son-in-law. I've never met anyone in my life who could throw velvet daggers like Ma. Problem is, she expected me to embrace the stab wounds and marvel at the bleeding. Virtually everything I did for her, ranging from home improvements to organizing a family reunion, always seemed to fall just a hair short of meeting her expectations. We once spent 8 months without talking, and we later referred to that time as "the quiet period." Oddly, after the silence was broken, neither of us could recall what the hell the disagreement was originally about. From that point on, the symptoms of Yi-danish neurosis subsided a bit, and we began to truly understand and respect one another. Over time, that respect turned into mutual admiration, followed by a deeply genuine love and an unbreakable bond. She was there, at my side, as we stood vigil at my sick wife's bedside for months. She was there, at my side, when my infant son came into the world without life. And I was there, at her side, as we stood watch at her dyeing mother's bedside until she quietly passed away. Together, we became an iron-clad team. We always treated triumph and disaster as one in the same. We fed off of one another's strengths to defeat our own weaknesses.

Humor became the medium by which we built our relationship over the years. Ma seemed to have a pension for ending up hospitalized, and I always made it a point to create a scene in her hospital room with noise, music, disgusting hand-made posters or vivid medical photos tacked to the walls. Doctors and nurses would come from all over the hospital to see the "presentation" in Ma's room (...and Ma ate up the attention like crazy)! Once, after a difficult abdominal surgery, I walked into her room, kissed her on the cheek and whispered, "kiss me like you mean it, baby..." You could almost hear the stitches popping as she laughed hysterically and blew out her nasal cannula. On several occasions, I almost sent her into cardiac arrest just by hiding her eyebrow pencil. Ma was quirky that way... she had a couple rules in life that just couldn't be bent; one centered around a strange eyebrow fetish, and the other revolved around the fact that I could never, ever, ever see her without a wig. It was a glorious day when I walked into her hospital room and discovered her sleeping and wig-less. After a few photos, I felt powerful and invigorated (until she woke up to the clicking of my camera that is).

Ma was a mixed bag of tricks; truly an intellectual genius with a darkly morbid sense of humor, all glued together with a melodramatic adhesive reminiscent of a turn-of-the-century silent film star. Ma loved to be in the limelight and had a presence like a seasoned carnival ringmaster. Even when she was at her wit's end, she was anything but serious. She lived life like she drove a car... full of passion, rage and fury, randomly turning corners while haphazardly alternating between slamming on the brakes and flooring the gas pedal, (all while loudly yelling at everyone else on the road) - yet somehow, she always managed to arrive safely at her destination. Driving with her, whether behind the wheel or as a helpless passenger was always a mind-numbing and gut-wrenching experience. Every time I exited her car, I'd say to myself, "my God, never again..." yet, somehow, I always looked forward to going places with her. Pretty much the same uncontrollable urge you get when witnessing a fatal accident on the freeway. It's a sickening sight, but you just can't help yourself.

She once said to me, "Ya know, honey, I love you because I can always be myself around you." To which I replied, "Yeah, ditto, Ma. You're alright too." We both began to tear-up at that moment until she grinned at me and said, "you're such a jerk, though..." She had a lightening-fast sense of humor that I loved to challenge. I enjoyed nothing more than teasing he hell out of her, and vice-versa. Ours was a dry dark humor, teaming with razor-sharp inside material laced with everything imaginable that could be labeled as pointed, disgusting or disturbing. Humor that only we understood. It was our common ground. This, more than anything, is what I will always remember about Ma. The incredible rapid-fire morbid wit that was such a integral part of our beautifully unconventional Jewish mother and son-in-law relationship.

How Ma got into psychiatry isn't a mystery. Personally, I think it all centered around her lifelong search for an accurate diagnosis. After all, a college degree was cheaper and faster than years of psychotherapy. Yes, Ma was nuts. Crazier than a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. She loved the hidden side of life, the mystery of the human psyche. But after working as a Psych RN for so many years, she sadly discovered one day that she was well-adjusted, and quickly turned her sights to less rigorous pursuits like gardening, gambling and flying off to Vegas with her girlfriends to frequent the Chippendales All-Male Revue shows. She loved online poker, phone apps like Farmville, and anything else that tested her luck. She was an avid bingo babe, kino queen, and slot machine maiden. And she'd win, too. And in between feeding her fairly well controlled gambling addiction, she kept an immaculate home (in case someone should visit), an immaculate vehicle, and an immaculate heart. She was always there for her friends and family. She could always be counted on, no matter how much crap was simultaneously hitting her fan. She was at her best when things were at their worst.

Ma loved food. She even loved to diet, just so she could ridicule the diet plans after a few days of eating healthy. "So I've lost 8 lbs. but now I don't have the strength to walk. And they call this a healthy lifestyle?" she'd say. Pizza, donuts, fresh sourdough bread and butter and anything sweet were just too much for her to pass up. All-you-can-eat buffets were Ma's weakness. She'd call and say, "Hey, $10 bucks and they got fresh salmon tonight, so let's go." It was nirvana until she had to walk to the car on a full stomach. She'd throw me her key chain, adorned with 10,000 charms, dice, tokens, bells, miniature cans of pepper spray, rape whistles and tiny credit cards -- and two actual keys -- and say, "Oh God, honey, hurry and bring the car around. I'm in so much pain I might have to go to Emergency." The trip home from the restaurant would always sound like a hospital delivery room; short heavy breaths, screams, grunts, groans, and lots of bitching. That was the sure sign of a great meal.

Ma loved live entertainment. Chinese acrobats, Irish dancers, comedians, circus acts, you name it... and she always bought tickets that were front and center stage. But attending any public event with Ma always carried a huge risk. I wouldn't go so far as to say that she was accident prone, but the odds were always good that she'd lose her car in the parking garage, misplace her purse, or worse yet, have an asthma attack, leg cramp, sneezing fit, and/or a gas pain, etc. during the quietest part of a live on-stage performance. When Ma and Dawna were together, the chance for disaster increased 10-fold. I don't know what I enjoyed more, the paid performances or just being entertained by Ma's spontaneous outbursts. It was like dating a woman with Turret's Syndrome at times.

Ma was so proud of her kids and grandkids, and despite the fact that the family was spread-out all over the country, she always made sure everyone kept in touch (primarily through guilt). "Dammit, you never answer your phone! I could be on my way to the hospital and you'd never know it because you won't pick-up!" But, Ma had a soft side too, a way of making everyone feel important, loved and connected. I am so blessed to have been her son-in-law and know that she would want me to turn my tears into laughter; laughter sparked by all the good memories she's given me. I will always love you, Ma -- with all my heart. When it's my time to go, I pray that God see's fit to reunite us, despite the noise and potential disruption we'll create in Heaven.
Rob Westphal (Son-in-law)
September 8th, 2016
This is the memorial I set up for Alice Sorensen. To sign the guest book, click on the "Sign Guest Book" button below.
Dawna Westphal
September 8th, 2016
11 entries
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"I miss you Ma. My God, there's such a black hole in my life without you. But, I still hear your voice and feel your presence through so many memories... Love, R"
Rob Westphal
March 9th, 2017
"im shocked..i have been calling you n got worried..i lost you my bestie of many years past my first friend in modesto im so saddened ..not expected at will always be remembered Alice .see you on the flipside"
Cynthia gutierrez
December 4th, 2016
"took me by surprise my friend of many years i loved you as a friend n sister n will remember all the good talks n laughs always ill see you on the upside CINDY"
Cynthia gutierrez
December 4th, 2016
"mom you were a second mom to me especially after my own mom passed away and i love you and miss you and will see you again i know and thank you for loving me so much love you always Linda"
Linda Little
September 24th, 2016
"I will miss you so much Mom but I know you are in a better place with no more pain. However I truly believe you are the Mermaid you always wanted to be, sitting on Seals rock in S.F. waving at the sailors as they pass by. I Love You Mom"
Daniel Little
September 24th, 2016
"Aunt Alice,you were a beautiful light to the world.My spot is a little bit dimmer without you shining!God promises that we will be reunited in paradise.I long for that day when we can share a piece of eternity with each other.your nephew Bryce."
Bryce Stacey
September 14th, 2016
"Mother you are missed dearly and deeply in my Heart. You always inspired me to do better in life.I Love you so very much Mom.You were the greatest Mother any child could have.You were so giving and loving.Rest well."
David Overly Sr.
September 11th, 2016
"Auntie Alice, We did not expect you to leave us so soon. We all LOVE YOU ,and will miss you dearly. We will never forget YOU!! Until we meet again. Love, The Vaughan Family"
Anthony Vaughan
September 10th, 2016
"Aunt Alice, i will miss you as well as my husband Deano,and children,Jeff Cunningham,Jennifer Cunningham Van Houten,Janel Cunningham Stendardo,Jerrad Cunningham,we love you,you always had a huge heart,and welcoming love to my family,happy sailing!!"
Clairese Cunningham
September 10th, 2016
"We love you dearly, mom. You are all around us in a billion beautiful memories."
Dawna & Rob Westphal
September 8th, 2016


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