Margaret (Meg) Sorensen

August  30th, 1929 October  5th, 2023
Becketwood, MSP to Greta and Bob''s house
Margaret (Meg) Sorensen


Meg was a daughter of the prairie, born on August 30,1929 to Ole and Nellie Nelson, two first generation Danes in the small community of Exeter Nebraska.   She grew up on their farm with her beloved older sisters, Elna and Nita.   The sisters were close, it was a loving home and even though they lived through the Great Depression and The Children’s Storm Blizzard, all three lived into their 90's and were in frequent contact, remaining close throughout their long lives.  Both parents spoke Danish at home but wanted their kids to speak English as was common with immigrant families.

Meg loved the outdoors and preferred farm work to house work.  Theirs was a small community and they had cousins nearby and close Aunts and Uncles.   Megs grandmother lived with them until she was nearly 100.  Ole and Nellie sent the girls to Grand View College in Des Moines, IA where Danish traditions were carried on.  Meg met Roger Sorensen (a Dane from Askov, MN) and they married Dec. 31, 1949,   Staying in contact with their Danish friends and maintaining traditions was important to them both.  They moved to Minneapolis where Roger got his Teachers Certificate at the 'U of M.  Meg worked full time and paid the bills.  After graduation, they moved to Tyler, MN, another Danish community where Roger taught and served as Principal.  There both Mike and Greta were born in the early 1950s. Roger had  a serious illness post surgery and spent over a month at the Mayo Clinic recovering.  This prompted a move to be closer to healthcare and landed the family in Hopkins,  MN.

Paul was born 4 days after moving to a house on Arlington Drive.   Here was a neighborhood full of young families and it soon became a collective village raising the passel of kids on the street.  The Matriarchs all kept one eye trained out the window and shared in correcting and corralling their own and each others kids.  It was a neighborhood adjacent to woods and lakes and a time of allowing kids freedom to wander.  It was both a quirky and idyllic neighborhood and strong friendships and great stories from there continue on.

In the 60s, Meg and Roger and neighbors Jack and Joyce Alwin purchased adjacent cabin lots in Park Rapids.  Each family cleared their land, had the logs milled into lumber and built a cabin from the ground up.  Roger called out measurements and Meg cut nearly every board in her rising cabin and handed them up to Roger.  This as she performed her usual Mom duties as the family lived in tents and cooked in a shack during a very rainy summer.  She loved the cabin and spent summers (and occasional winter nights) at Palmer Lake.  It fit with her love of birds, nature and all things outdoors.  The kids thrived, she and her soulmate Roger enjoyed the days and raised an enormous garden.  They hosted parties yearly with good friends.  Meg marveled at the surprises - kit foxes one year, porcupines the next, a hogshead snake, tanagers, bluebirds, meteor showers, moonrises, on and on.

Meg considered raising her kids to be her primary job until the youngest was in school full days.  She then signed on as Head Secretary to the Principal at North Junior High in Hopkins, MN.  She ran the main office, and that pretty much meant the whole school according to some…. She met more good people and formed a group she called “my women friends” AKA The Aunt Minners - who were lively, fun and fierce activists.  The marched and marched and worked for the ERA, to end the Vietnam War, to elect Paul Wellstone and many others.  So many causes for equal justice and rights for disenfranchised people of all sorts.

Then came the grandkids - Carl first, then Anna, then Erica.  Joy beyond belief for both Meg and Roger who hosted the whole family yearly at Palmer Lake in the summer.  Swimming, water skiing, fishing, canoeing, gardening, games, fires, stories, so much fun for all.  Meg also made amazing halloween costumes, a dog suit with floppy ears, a tiger suit, a Ninja Turtle.  She refinished antique furniture, knitted sweaters, made quilts, wove denim rugs on her huge loom, kept up a flower garden in Hopkins and an enormous vegetable garden at the cabin. Plus trips to see the grand kids, and to other places of interest.  Camping, hiking Isle Royal, canoeing in the BWCA.  Good years.

But - Shortly after both Meg and Roger retired, Roger became ill and had 2 serious bouts with cancer.  He died at the young age of 71, leaving Meg without her soulmate in her mid 60s. 
After Roger died, Meg decided to become good at being independent.  She expanded her walks to four miles a day or more, often with her friend Rita and their binoculars scanning for birds.  She continued to go to the cabin alone, volunteered at the school and Arboretum and helped the kids and grandkids whenever possible.  She took up woodcarving, devoured books, knitted, quilted and traveled with her sisters and daughter.

Then, unexpectedly her first born son Michael died of a heart attack at the age of 53.  He left a wonderful wife Carlene and stepson Chas in Indiana as well as Carl and Anna in Montana, all 3 kids under 20 years old.  Meg was alone to grieve this loss.

In her early 70s, tired of the steep snowy hills on Arlington Drive in winter, she moved to Becketwood Cooperative near Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis.   New territory to discover and new friends to gather.  She joined the Library Committee, the Environment Committee, had an group of women who got together for wine, reading poetry,  coffee and scones, good conversation or long walks to the Falls.  Meg truly enjoyed the community at Becketwood as they enjoyed her wit, humor and generous spirit.

Great Grandchildren came every couple years to Anna, first Julia, then Celeste, Francesca and Damien.  Special and unique each one and well loved by Gma S.  More great years with these precious kids..

Then covid came and in the midst, Meg’s youngest, Paul died of acute respiratory distress
at age 64, leaving his cherished daughter Erica and a heartbroken Mother.   A couple of years later, cancer struck the youngest great grandchild and Megs heart broke again.  He survived, but the stress took a toll.   Always healthy herself, eventually trouble crept in.  Low blood pressure and unpredictable fainting episodes and no treatment that helped.  After several episodes, Meg made the decision to look into options to live closer to her daughter Greta and Son in Law Bob.   She stayed with them and before she found a permanent “next place”, she fainted, hit her head and had a serious brain bleed which ended her life a week later at 93.  She died at Greta and Bobs home on October 5th, 2023.  During the last week of her life, great number of bluebirds kept vigil out the window and a pair of owls called to each other at night, ready to escort her on.  So fitting for such a strong and generous soul.   We will miss her so.

Please join us in honoring Meg on July 7, 2024 in Minnreapolis.  Information below.


Memory wall


July 7, 2024
Meg was a friend to my grandparents, Jackie and Wesley Lowe. They spent time at Palmer lake together. As a little girl, visiting the cabin, I would go see Meg and she would offer cookie or a story. While running along West River road as an adult I ran past her and recognized her! We agreed to meet and have coffee and did so every so often until she left becketwood. She would always welcome me with coffee, cookies, a story. She was a kind soul and inspires me to this day.
Jackie Colburn
June 18, 2024
I cleaned meg's unit at becketwood for at least 5yrs. My memory of Meg. So kind, So patient, So easy going.. Just really A very good soul. I loved her so much. Sorry family and friends, I called myself her chocolate daughter. That's how she made me feel like family and I would always get A smile from her. Forever in my ❤. Love you Meg.
Ester yankaway
June 7, 2024
I was very sorry to read about the passing of Margaret. She was a first cousin to my mother, Alma Hansen Woods, who was born in Cordova, Nebraska. After she married my father, Ross Woods, she moved to Ault, Colorado. About the late 50s, she and her family spent few days with us on the farm. I don't remember the last time I saw here, but we always visited her parents when we were in the Cordova area. I did see her sister, Elna, at the 100th birthday party of Mildred (Andersen) Meitner, another cousin, in Great Bend, Kansas, in 2011. Also her parents, Ole and Nellie were at my wedding in 1966. Margaret and Roger were very special people.
Janice Marie (Woods) Writebol
June 6, 2024
My Significant Mother

a name from a cartoon
we both enjoy
it fits her perfectly, my little mother
she is tiny and barely makes a bump
when she crawls under the sheet
after a day watching birds, tending her flowers, reading
or working for peace or a good candidate
she is small but fierce
in her love of family, freedom, the earth and children
she has values that are real, not just talk
she is beautiful and strong and brilliant but she doesn't realize
how much that is true
she is a daughter of the prairie
and knows work and hardship and struggle
also joy and the comfort of family
she laughs with me
when it's not appropriate sometimes
we get the giggles together
she is childlike and delightful
with her quick steps, always in a hurry
to enjoy friends, do more, see everything
but also she is stubborn
so she sticks to her ideas and ideals
and has taught mo how lucky I am
to be loved by a Significant Mother


What was Margaret (Meg)'s favorite Quote or Saying?
Girls are STRONG!
You CAN do it.
What was Margaret (Meg)'s favorite Travel destination?
Anywhere or birds
What cause was important to Margaret (Meg)?
Women's rights, Education, Environment,  Food Security.


Please gather with us to commemorate Meg. We would love to have your written stories of Meg..
Becketwood Cooperative
Main Dining Room
4300 W River Pkwy
Sunday, July 7, 2024.  3 - 5:30 pm


In honor of Meg, we invite you to contribute to a cause that was near and dear to their heart. Your generous donation will go to The Nature Conservancy.  OR - feel free to donate to your local food bank if you wish. 

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