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Obituary for Muriel Irene Sorby
Winnebago - Muriel Irene Sorby (Thiel), 82, of Winnebago, died Monday morning, June 30, 2008, in her home, after a lengthy illness. She was born June 20, 1926 to Esther Isabelle (Skofstad) Sorby and Emil Carl Sorby in Beloit, Wis. Muriel attended schools in Cleveland, Ohio and Rockford, graduating from Rockford West High School in 1944. She earned her B.S. in education from the University of Minnesota in 1948 and subsequently taught at Abbott Junior High School in Elgin. In 1952, she received her degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder, in guidance and counseling as well as in health education. Muriel was employed by The Boulder-Larimer County Health and Tuberculosis Association, in Longmont, Colo., during which time the Boulder City-County Health Dept. was established. Upon her return to the midwest, she taught for the Winnebago Community Unit District 323, with the goal of establishing a K-12 guidance and counseling program. Muriel continued her education at Northern Illinois University and Rockford College obtaining certifications in administrative positions. During her 30-year tenure with the schools, the district established exemplary programs in special education (prior to federal mandates); and exemplary programs in vocational education. While utilizing interdisciplinary skills, Title I and Chapter I programs provided for innovative teaching skills and programming, pre-school through high school. Public school early childhood classes were amount the first for state funding in Illinois. Muriel was a founder of Illinois Growth Enterprises, Inc., a sheltered workshop facility that has served thousands of handicapped persons in its 30+ year existence. In addition to continuing to serve on the board she has been active with the Auxiliary serving in various capacities. In 1988, she was among five persons nominated for the Excelsior Award. For over seventy years she has been an active member of Trinity Lutheran Church, having served on the Constitution Committee, Finance and Investment Committees, Church Council (president), Stephen Minister, and the fund raising committees for The Learning Center. Muriel has been an active member of Zeta Chapter, The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International. Since 1966, she has held many positions in the chapter, including the presidency, 2002-2004. The International organization is an honorary educational group which provides scholarships and grants to high school students as well as to educators: provides information regarding legislation affecting education and promotes professional and personal growth amount women educators. She was also active in organizations in northern Wisconsin, where for over fifty years the family spent summers. For several years Muriel served as president of the Women's League, Nicolet Country Club and numerous occasions, served on the board of The Lake Lucerne Advancement Association. Her hobbies and interests were diversified. Muriel was a collector, reader, lover of music and art, and she enjoyed needlework along with fishing, boating and golf; however, she was primarily a "people" person with creative skills. She was a friend to many.
Muriel is lovingly survived by her sister, Arlene Judith (Sorby) Rasmussen of Portage, Wis.; nephews, William Carl Rasmussen of Oxford, Wis. and John Edward (Christine) Rasmussen of Poynette, Wis.; nieces, Judith L. (Andrew) Rasmussen Harrison of Sun Prairie, Wis. and Marie Esther (Jeff Schoeneberg) Rasmussen of Arlington, Wis.; grand-nephews, grand-nieces; and many friends. She was predeceased by her parents and brother-in-law, William Nelson Rasmussen.
Service is at 10:30 a.m., Thursday, July 3, 2008, in Trinity Lutheran Church, 200 N. 1st Street, Rockford, with visitation at 9:30 a.m. until service time; the Dr. Rev. Len Hoffmann and the Rev. Kathryn Whitney will officiate. Burial in Willwood Burial Park, in Rockford. Visitation 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Wednesday, July 2, 2008, in Genandt Funeral Home, 602 N. Elida St., Winnebago.