Cover photo for Joan Claire Sorensen's Obituary
Joan Claire Sorensen Profile Photo
1938 Joan 2024

Joan Claire Sorensen

November 15, 1938 — January 14, 2024

George Laverne Sorensen was born at the family farm in Audubon, IA on March 26, 1938 and passed away January 10, 2024 at the age of 85. He was the third of five children born to the union of Enoch Jeppe Sorensen and Mildred Irene (Barratt) Sorensen. Mildred passed away from an unknown ailment in July of 1943 when George was just 5 years old and the youngest child, Loretta, was just three months old. Enoch farmed and raised the oldest four children, and Loretta was raised by her grandparents, Mildred’s parents, north of Harlan. George attended school at rural school Douglas #1 and later graduated from Audubon High School in the Class of 1956.

Joan Clarie (Budd) Sorensen was born at the family home in Yellow Dog Canyon, Nebraska on November 15, 1938, and passed away January 14, 2024 at the age of 85. She was the fifth of seven children born to the union of Gerald Leroy Budd and Willamine Sara (Campbell) Budd. The family moved to Glenwood, Iowa where she attended school, graduating from Glenwood High School in 1956.

After high school, George began farming with his father and younger brother Harold. They grew crops, had beef cattle, hogs and dairy. George also joined the US Army National Guard. He received training at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri and Fort Dix, New Jersey while serving a six-year term.

Following graduation, Joan trained as a cosmetologist at Barnes Beauty School in Council Bluffs, graduating in April 1957. She initially worked at Dorothy’s Beauty Shop in Glenwood but wanted to own her own shop. She decided to move to Audubon where her oldest brother, Gary, worked for the telephone company. In September 1958 she opened Joan’s Beauty Shop in Audubon.

George and Joan met in 1958 when George would get his hair cut at Sam’s Barber Shop which was connected by a door to Joan’s Beauty Shop, and he would stop in to talk to Joan. They quickly became friends and started dating. They fell in love and were married at the Methodist church in Glenwood, IA on May 29, 1960. They honeymooned in Colorado, where they experienced the beauty and majesty of the mountains for the first time.

George and Joan lived on an acreage 8.5 miles northwest of Audubon and George continued to farm with his dad and brother. In 1961, the first child, Dennis Lee was born to their union, followed by Shari Joann (1964), Douglas Dwayne (1966), and Rena Jean (1968). Joan continued to own and operate the beauty shop but reduced to 3 days a week as they welcomed kids into their family. She eventually sold the shop to Ella Lauritsen in 1968 and focused on raising their children and supporting George on the family farm full time. George continued to farm alongside his father, Enoch, and younger brother Harold until Harold, his wife Karen, and all three of their children perished tragically from a carbon monoxide accident in January of 1967.

George and Joan built a house and moved onto the family farm in 1969, where they lived, thrived, and shared many joys and hardships. George enjoyed teaching their children about the farm and supporting their engagement working on the farm, participating in 4-H, and riding horses. After she sold her business, Joan focused on raising children, gardening, canning, cooking and hosting family and friends, and attending to life on the farm. She loved quilting and made baby quilts for each grandchild, continuing the legacy of her mother who had crocheted afgan’s for each of her grandchildren’s weddings. She was active in Women of the Church, Circle, the Quilting Club and other social activities. They were both active members of Ebenezer Lutheran Church, serving terms as Treasurer, and consistently participating in the active community events and support. They were quick to support family, friends, neighbors, and strangers who needed anything from a cup of sugar to helping a neighbor whose combine broke down during harvest. The farm was also a magnet for nieces and nephews who loved to come stay with Uncle George and Aunt Joan.

George retired from farming in 2002 and they bought a house in Audubon. He continued to support the farm with Doug, who moved into the family home. Joan dearly loved hosting family reunions and gettogethers, which brought her much joy. She was a social butterfly, very often the first to arrive and the last to leave, with George typically waiting in the car for her to wrap up a conversation before he could go home and do chores. In retirement, George took up woodworking, making numerous heirloom items for his children and grandchildren. Joan continued to make quilts and enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren and hosting family holidays, events and reunions. George and Joan enjoyed many long trips to see their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, as well as the many wonders of our great country. Among their favorite memories were the trips by car to California and Seattle Washington, passing by many great scenes of visionary enchantment.

Preceding them in death were their parents: Enoch and Mildred Sorensen and Gerald and Willamine Budd; George’s siblings: Elaine (Sorensen) Lauritsen and husbands Emmert and Edward, Harold and Karen (Wanninger) Sorensen, and Loretta (Sorensen) Eldridge, Maynard Madsen, husband of Rosie (Sorensen) Madsen; nieces and nephews: Laurie, Deborah and Kevin Sorensen, Tim Lauritsen, and Mark Madsen. Joan’s siblings: Loyd Budd, Gary Budd, Joyce (wife of Henry Budd) and Willis Budd; their nieces and nephews Julie Budd, Kenny Budd, Sharon and John Rademacher, and Doug Berger.

Survivors include their siblings and children and their spouses: Rose Madsen of Audubon, IA; Buzz Eldridge of Cayuga, IN; Mary Karbiner of Sun City, AZ; Orma Budd of Tucson, AZ; Henry Budd of Baton Rouge, LA; Sonja Budd of Gretna, NE; James and Myrna Budd of Glenwood, IA; Robert and Betty (Budd) Hauger; Dennis and Ember (Seward) Sorensen of Agate, CO; Shari and John Breiten of Clive, IA; Douglas and Lisa (Graettinger) Sorensen of Audubon, IA: and Rena Sorensen of Cincinnati, OH; their grandchildren: Tyrel and Lacey Sorensen of Denver, CO; Mireya and Manthan Ray of Chicago, IL; Jason Burnworth and Avery Burnworth of Cincinnati, OH; Izik, Jocelyn, Jordyn, Jasmyn, Jeppe, Jaxtyn, Joseph, and Jasper Sorensen, all of Audubon, IA; their great-grandchildren: Zaaley Sharp of Simla, CO; Elena and Reina Ray of Chicago, IL; and many other nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joan Claire Sorensen, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, January 17, 2024

5:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

Our Saviour's Lutheran Church

326 Leroy Street, Audubon, IA 50025

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Thursday, January 18, 2024

Starts at 10:30 am (Central time)

Our Saviour's Lutheran Church

326 Leroy Street, Audubon, IA 50025

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Ebenezer Lutheran Cemetery

, Audubon, IA 50025

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