All about Sweet Home since 1929

Arlene Sorseth

November 15, 1921 - March 5, 2020

Arlene was born on a farm near Sweet Home, Oregon, to Arthur and Maud Sportsman. The property has been maintained as a family retreat and is part of her enduring legacy.

Arlene died peacefully in her sleep at Pete Moore Hospice House with granddaughter Sarah with her. Grandson Nathan and his wife and parents, along with son Steve and Amelia were with Arlene throughout the day.

Arlene completed all grades in Sweet Home schools, where she met Alvin "Tyke" Sorseth, a new kid from North Dakota. They became high school sweethearts and married Christmas Eve, 1942, while Tyke was a pilot in the Navy. They were together nearly 75 years.

They had two sons, Steve and Craig, who grew up with close ties with numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins in the Sorseth and Sportsman families. Those relationships thrive today, due in large part to Arlene's influence.

Arlene developed a passion for music early, turning pages for her mom playing piano in church. She had a beautiful voice, singing in a high school girls' quartet, The Tickles. She often played piano at home, sang in many church choirs and belonged to a Eugene Sweet Adelines barbershop choir for many years. To her sons' chagrin, Arlene entered them in local talent shows, leaving memories that are, unfortunately, indelible.

For Arlene and Tyke, relationships with family and friends were paramount. Arlene met people easily and developed acquaintances into lifelong relationships. She had ample opportunity as a career U.S. Forest Service wife and mother who moved frequently throughout Oregon when Tyke's transfers occurred.

Arlene belonged to numerous groups and organizations and was fully involved in each. She was a 30-year member of Central Presbyterian Church in Eugene, P.E.O. chapter DF, and Daughters Of The Nile. She cheerfully volunteered any time there was a need.

Arlene and Tyke traveled extensively in the States and overseas. Focus was always on visiting friends and family when planning their trips. The highlights were trips to Norway to visit Tyke's father's relatives, and almost 30 years of annual trips to Death Valley, where they parked their trailer next to the same old friends. They all looked forward to Arlene's rum cake when Tyke celebrated his birthday each March.

Arlene is survived by son Steve and his wife Amelia, and son Craig and his wife Renee. She was blessed with three grandchildren: Sarah Osterhoudt, Nathan Sorseth and Noah Sorseth, and three great-grandsons: Samuel, Josiah and Seth Osterhoudt.

Arlene was preceded in death by husband Tyke, and brother Carl Sportsman.

It is difficult to describe the positive effect Arlene had on the lives of family and friends. She will be remembered for her smile, warmth and grace, and genuine care for others, even strangers. She is with her beloved Tyke, and for that we are grateful. We miss you, Mom.

Under the circumstances, the family will celebrate Arlene's life in private.

The family wishes to thank assisted care and memory care staff and caregivers at Sheldon Park for caring for Arlene and Tyke since April, 2016. We also thank Cascade Hospice and Pete Moore Hospice House doctors, nurses, staff and volunteers for their loving care of Arlene and Tyke.

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