Dr. R.M. Sorensen, 94, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and World War II Navy pilot passed away peacefully at Aurora Memorial Hospital of Burlington on Sept. 19, 2018.

Dr. Sorensen was born in 1924 to Martin and Bertha (Truesdell) Sorensen. He graduated high school in Norfolk, Neb., in 1942 and went into training as a Naval Aviator. He flew 59 missions from aircraft carriers in the Pacific during World War II, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross and four Bronze Stars. He left the service as a Lieutenant JG. After the war he attended Iowa State University, where he earned a Bachelors Degree in Industrial Arts Education and a Masters Degree in Education Administration. He later earned a PhD in Education Administration from University of Iowa.

His career in education began as a teacher, coach, and counselor. Later he became a high school principal and ended his career as a Superintendent of Schools in Marion, Iowa for 13 years and then in Burlington for 12 years.

He gave back to his community through his involvement in the Boy Scouts, Lions Club, Rotary, Masons, Shriners, Library Association, and various other community organizations and projects.

Dr. Sorensen is survived by his loving wife of 74 years, Betty Jean; children, Melody (Tom) Kelter, Jeff (Bea) Sorensen, and April (Paul) Tellier; grandchildren, Shelby Zeier, Thomas (Melissa) Sorensen, Nicholas (Jenny) Sorensen, Joshua (Mary) Tellier, Ben Tellier, Michelle (Adam) Wavra, and Ethan Tellier; and nine great-grandchildren.

He is preceded in death by his parents, his grandson Branden Richard, his brother Laurel, and his in-laws H. Vern Gillis and Maggie Belle (Holmes) Gillis.

He will be interred in a private ceremony for family at the Union Grove Veterans Cemetery.

He will live in our memories forever as he joins in flight a squadron of angels.

Miller-Reesman Funeral Home is serving the family. Well-wishers may visit www.Miller-Reesman.com.