Henry Tyler "Hank" Sorensen

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Henry "Hank" Tyler Sorensen Henry "Hank" Tyler Sorensen, age 91, passed away Monday, August 23, 2010, at Heritage Oaks Assisted Living Home in Tallahassee following a lengthy battle with cancer. Maggie, his loving wife of 52 years, was at his side. Born April 23, 1919, in Minot, North Dakota, Hank grew up in Panama City and spent most of his adult life in Florida.
He joined the National Guard, and was at Camp Blanding, the National Guard base near Starke, on December 7, 1941. He served in the U.S. Army for the duration of World War II. He was an aerial photographer for the Army and once was forced to bail out of a crippled B-17. After World War II he moved to Tallahassee.
He went to Officers School at Fort Benning, and stayed with the National Guard for 30 years, retiring with the rank of Major. An accomplished marksman and competitive shooter, his shooting and instructional skills were used by the military. Many of his assignments involved small arms instruction. Hank's civilian career spanned 19 years as a building inspector for the City of Tallahassee.
He retired as Chief Building Inspector in 1982. He began volunteer work with youth shooting programs as a firearms safety instructor, first with the Sunrise Optimist Club during the 1950s. He became an NRA-certified firearms instructor and began hunter safety instruction long before the state developed a program.
For a time he was the only qualified hunter safety instructor in the Tallahassee area. He personally graduated over 3000 students from his classes with knowledge of hunting and firearms safety. In 1976, he worked with the National Rifle Association and was one of the original founders of Unified Sportsmen of Florida the statewide legislative and lobbying affiliate of the NRA. He was the organization's first President and served in that capacity numerous times through the years.
In 1993, at the Sunshine State Games, Sorensen, at the age of 74, took second place in the state-wide trapshooting competition. He is survived by his wife Margaret "Maggie" Cromartie Sorensen; a son, Eric Sorensen of Jacksonville; a daughter, Alexa Boutwell of Tallahassee; sisters Jackie Hogan of Panama City and Ruth Butler of Clearwater; three grandchildren, Henry Tyler Sorensen, II, of Tampa, Casey James Sorensen of Jacksonville, John Henry Coggins; five great-grandchildren, Henry Tyler Sorensen III, Robert Logan Sorensen, and Sheila Katherine Sorensen of Tampa, Camryn Elizabeth Sorensen and Jake Gerard Sorensen of Jacksonville; and many nieces, nephews and good friends.
A private family service is planned. Contributions in Hank's memory may be made to the Suwannee River Council, Boy Scouts of America, 2032 Thomasville Road, Tallahassee, FL 32308, or the NRA National Firearms Museum Foundation, 11250 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax, VA 22030. Culley's MeadowWoodFuneral Home on Riggins Road handled the arrangements (850) 877-8191.
Published in Tallahassee Democrat on Aug. 27, 2010
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