1921 ~ 2008
James LeVoy Sorenson left this earthly existence on a winter morning, Jan. 20, 2008, surrounded by his loving family.Jim was a robust 10-pound baby born in a farmhouse in Rexburg, Idaho on July 30, 1921, the first child of young parents Joseph LeVoy and Emma Blaser Sorenson. The love and encouragement provided by his parents enabled Jim to embrace life with enthusiasm and an optimistic attitude, even growing up in the midst of the Great Depression.
With this attitude, Jim overcame the poverty of his childhood to
become one of the world's leading inventors, entrepreneurs and philanthropists. He created a host of medical innovations that transformed patient care in hospitals and clinics throughout the world. Jim's inventions resulted in more than 40 patents and helped save or improve millions of lives. Some of his pioneering inventions included the disposable surgical mask, non-invasive plastic venous catheters, blood recycling and infusion systems, novel anti-clotting solutions, and the first real-time computerized heart monitoring systems. He founded dozens of dynamic entrepreneurial organizations in industries ranging from information technology to life sciences, real estate and
Jim was raised in Northern California, and received a basketball scholarship to Sierra College. After this he was accepted into the naval V5 pilot training and V7 medical programs, but chose instead to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) to the New England States. Upon returning home in 1945, Jim enrolled in one semester at the University of Utah, pledging with Delta Phi. He later enlisted in the Maritime Service, where he went to officer's training in Shepherd Bay, New York. It was in the LDS Manhattan Ward in New York that he met his beloved bride, Beverley Taylor. Jim and Beverley were married 61 years, joining for time and eternity in the Logan Temple on July 23, 1946.
After an honorable release from his military service, Jim joined the Upjohn Company as a salesman. He worked there for eight years before co-founding Deseret Pharmaceutical Company. During this time, he also purchased GayLee Lingerie, a producer of modest lingerie which later became LeVoy's. The success of LeVoy's enabled Jim to invest in his real passion- medical products- and gave birth to his medical device company, Sorenson Research.
Jim is survived by Beverley and their eight children: Carol Smith, Shauna (Ralph) Johnson, James Lee, Ann (Gary) Crocker, Joan (Tim)
Fenton, Joseph (Kathleen), Gail (Thom) Williamsen and Christine (Dale) Harris. He is also survived by sisters Eileen (Willard) Smith, EmmaJean (Gordon) Haight and Joy Armstrong, along with 47 grandchildren and 28 great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his parents, son-in-law Doug Smith, sisters Carol Sorenson and Lois Stoneking, and baby brother
Donald. Despite his professional and philanthropic accomplishments, Jim consistently maintained that his greatest legacy was his family.
The family of James LeVoy
Sorenson wishes to thank his doctors, nurses and all others involved in his treatment and care during his final months.
Two viewings will be held for James LeVoy Sorenson: Thursday, Jan. 24, 2008 from 5-8 p.m. at Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park and Mortuary (3401 Highland Drive in Salt Lake City); and Fri. January 25 from 10:30-11:30 a.m. at the Salt Lake Cottonwood Stake Center (1830 E. 6400 S. Salt Lake City). Funeral services will follow at 12 noon at the Salt Lake Cottonwood Stake Center. Interment will be at Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Huntsman Cancer Foundation, Utah Youth Village, the Deseret Foundation or the Perpetual Education Fund of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.