Merlin Eleanor Sorensen

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79, who spent the majority of her life in Santa Barbara County, passed away on June 6th, 2013, at Marian Regional Medical Center due to complications from a neurological disorder.

The daughter of Claude P. Hague and Louzetta Zahn, and one of six children, Merlin was born on August 26th, 1933, in Los Angeles. The family moved to Santa Barbara when she was a child. It was while attending La Cumbre Junior High School that she met Rudolph Winter Sorensen, whom she married in November 1949. Their marriage lasted 63 years, until Rudolph's death in 2012.

The mother of four sons, Merlin was a classic housewife who kept busy with her home, family and friends. Known for her giving spirit and infectious smile, her laughter was a source of delight to all who met her. She worked occasional jobs over the years--sometimes for those who were elderly and/or homebound--and had myriad interests, including baking, antiques, scrapbooking, movies and reading (especially true crime). Music was also a source of enjoyment; Merlin often hummed along, around the house, to tunes on the radio or CD player.

As Merlin's medical condition progressed, she never complained. Her selfless dedication and courage during her husband's terminal illness typified her tendency to put the interests of others before her own.

In addition to her husband, Merlin was preceded in death by her parents, eldest son Rudolph Jr., and--during her childhood--older sister Beverly. Survivors include sons Steven, Robert and David Sorensen; brothers Claude, Floyd and her twin Clifford Hague; sister Elaine Barnes; daughter-in-law Sue Sorensen; grandchildren Marian Sorensen, Rudy Sorensen Jr., Erica Sorensen, Karl Sorensen, Alyssa Sorensen and twins Megan and Erin Sorensen. There are also six great-grandchildren, eight nieces, nine nephews, and a beloved sister-in-law, Dolores Cortez.

Heartfelt thanks to the Hernandez Family of Santa Maria for their love and support. The Sorensen family also expresses gratitude to other friends who gave their time and assistance, and to the kind and caring staff at the Arroyo Grande Acute Rehabilitation Center.

A private memorial service will be held later in the summer. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to a favorite charity that benefits animals, one of Merlin's causes.

Services were entrusted to the care of Lori Family Mortuary, Santa Maria.

Published in The Santa Barbara News-Press Online Edition from June 20 to June 24, 2013