David Wade ‘Moose’ Sorensen was born on June 17, 1946 to Dorothy Arlene Reierson Sorensen and Wade Pier Sorensen in Billings, Montana. He was born with a fishing rod and reel in one hand and a rifle in the other, ready to embark on his lifelong love of the outdoors. David was an avid hunter and fisherman. When asked where he caught a particularly nice fish or shot a particularly big bull elk, he coined the phrase “In the vicinity of the Two Dot Bridge” no matter where he actually harvested it.
David grew up in Harlowton, Montana and enjoyed riding his bike with his dog Butch and being outdoors with his dad. He grew up with his big sister Diane until her death when David was 6 years old. David and his best friend Kenny Thompson spent many hours playing in the Musselshell River and shooting gophers. He attended the Boy Scout Jamboree in Denver, CO when he was 14 years old and achieved the honor of Eagle Scout in 1961. He also attended Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico.
David’s mom made sure he attended Sunday school each Sunday and was confirmed at the American Lutheran Church.
David attended Harlowton High School and graduated in 1964. Excelling in sports, he was proud to be a member of the 1964 Class B State Championship basketball team and a member of the All Star Class B basketball team. He participated in Track and Field and won first place in the State Class B shotput and discus. He also played football and was awarded a full ride scholarship to play with the University of Montana Grizzlies in Missoula where he played as a defensive end and punter for the Griz.
David joined the Army National Guard after his junior year in high school. Eight days after graduation he and 7 other graduates of HHS boarded a bus for 9 weeks of Army National Guard Basic Training at Fort Ord, CA. He retired from the Guard in 1999 with the rank of First Sergeant.
David began college at U of M in Jan 1965. He played football with the Grizzlies for 3 years and made many lifetime friends at college. He graduated in 1970 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife Biology.
After graduation he worked in the oil field for 1 year and then went to work for the Milwaukee Railroad and soon became a Foreman. He married Jodi Cotton in 1972 and they worked on the railroad together until they bought the Fastway Conoco gas and convenient store in Harlowton in 1979 from Jim and Ella Hunter. Many kiddos in Harlowton remember Dave giving them gummy worms or Swedish fish as a treat when they came into the store. David adopted Kristi Lynn and born of the marriage was Shannon Michelle. David and Jodi were later divorced.
Dave married Lori Crouse in 2006. The marriage brought him a son, Josh, and a daughter, Crystal. They purchased and reopened the Engineer’s Depot (aka Fastway). They ran The Depot together until 2010 when they sold it and he retired. He then worked as a substitute teacher. Mr. Dave, as he was known, was a favorite sub and students received King Size Snickers for bets they won with him. He was honored to give the speech at the 8th grade Graduation ceremony to the first class he substituted with when they were in the 2nd grade.
Dave and Lori moved to Billings in 2010. They celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary in 2016 with a vow renewal ceremony. Dave was known as Papa and loved spending time with his grandchildren. He especially loved outings to Dairy Queen for ice cream no matter what time of the year!
Dave was a hunting guide in the mountains around Harlowton and spent many days on the mountain with his best friend KT (Kenny Thompson). He was a member of Kiwanis and served as President of the Harlowton Chapter. He also served as Montana Lieutenant Governor for two years and as a Distinguished Lieutenant Governor the second year. Dave participated in over 20 Kiwanis Minstrel Shows. He was a basketball referee in Harlo, and surrounding towns, for 13 years and he volunteered as a fireman for the City of Harlowton and Wheatland County for 21 years. Dave was the Governor of the Harlowton Moose Lodge.
Dave was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and dementia in 2009 and lived the last few years of his life at Aspen Meadows. Dave was preceded in death by his parents and his sister Diane. He is survived by his wife Lori; daughters Kristi (Adam) of Billings; Shannon of Palm Springs, CA; stepson Josh (Hannah) of Castle Rock, CO; stepdaughter Crystal (Brad) of Billings; sister Grace of Billings; brother Dean (Marlene) of Harlowton; grandchildren Marissa, Qualiq, Elijah, Ezra, Everly, and Ezekiel; nieces Molly, Callie, Jodi and Carrie; and nephews Cory and Seth.
Cremation has taken place. A memorial service will be held (Griz attire encouraged) at the Faith Chapel in Harlowton on Saturday, August 11th, at 11 a.m. followed by military honors at the family plot in the Harlowton Cemetery. After the ceremony there will be a small reception at the Jawbone Creek Country Club. His ashes will be spread somewhere in the vicinity of the Two Dot Bridge.
Honorary Pallbearers are Kenny Thompson, Adam Nolan, Brad Bouchard, Josh Crouse, Qualiq Sorensen, and Elijah, Ezra and Ezekiel Bouchard.