Lucy Sorenson Pape

Published 12:19 pm Thursday, October 21, 2021

The angels in Heaven are celebrating a new arrival at the passing of Lucy Sorenson Pape, Oct. 19, 2021. Lucy was born Jan. 17, 1931 in Newport News, to Lloyd Raymond “Sorry” Sorenson Jr. and Lucy Helena Ankers Sorenson. She graduated from the prestigious Fairfax Hall School for Girls in Waynesboro in 1947, from the College of William & Mary with a Bachelor of Science in biology in 1951 and from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 1953 with a master’s degree in Psychology. In 1956, she married Dr. Frank L. Pape Jr. and remained in Newport News until her death from COVID-19 this week.

Luke 10:27 says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Lucy didn’t just talk the Christian talk, she walked the Christian walk, seeking to love and serve both God and her neighbors all her life. From her active participation in various circles at First Presbyterian Church and then later at Menchville Presbyterian, to teaching her bevy of nieces and nephews about Christ, to generously contributing to innumerable charities including CBN’s medical and clean water ministries, to countless anonymous donations made to individuals in need, Lucy provided a great example to all of us on loving both God and her neighbors.

A lifelong resident of Newport News, Lucy loved her city and its history as well. A favorite memory was when in 1942, she helped christen LST 393, a vessel designed and built at Newport News Shipbuilding, and which transported more than 9,000 troops with machinery into service on the shores of Normandy on D-Day. Remarkably, she kept the beribboned neck of the champagne bottle that launched the ship for 75 years, and in 2019, donated that same bottle neck and ribbon as a birthday present to the ship which has since been made into a museum located in Muskegon, Michigan. The museum organizers were ecstatic about the donation and included Lucy in many of the festivities at the opening of the museum. A new ribbon used to christen the museum now sits among Lucy’s most treasured mementos.

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Lucy loved her country! A flag was always flying at the Pape house, and she never once missed voting in an election. In fact, she voted early in this year’s gubernatorial election, just to make sure she didn’t miss out! Those who met Lucy loved her, as she did them. Her infectious laughter and wry sense of humor will be missed by many.

Lucy is preceded in death by her husband, Dr. Frank L. Pape Jr.; her mother, Lucy Helena Ankers Sorenson; her father, Lloyd Raymond “Sorry” Sorenson Jr.; her stepmother, Winnifred Reiser “Winnie” Sorenson; her brother Lloyd Raymond “Sonny” Sorenson III; her sister, Sylvia Sorenson Pape; and her great-nephew, Michael Ryan Branisa. She continues in the hearts and minds of her remaining family: sister-in-law, Mary Dick Sorenson, of Newport News; cousin, Joseph “Joey” Pape (Nancy), of Richmond and Smithfield; double nieces, Diane Pape Reed (David), of Fairfax, and Susan Pape Branisa (Michael), of Houston, Texas; nephews, Lloyd Raymond “Skip” Sorenson IV (Yvonne), of Marco Island, Florida, and William “Bill” Sorenson (Julie), of Jacksonville, Florida; nieces, Ruth Sorenson Greene, of Carrollton, and Lucy Sorenson Gore (Scott), of Gilbert, Arizona; five great-nieces; nine great-nephews; and one great-great-nephew.

The family would like to thank the nurses and staff at Riverside Medical Center’s fifth floor COVID ward and especially nurse practitioner, Jenny, for all their love and care during Lucy’s final days. God bless each and every one of you! Visitation will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 22, 2021, at Little’s Funeral Home in Smithfield. A celebration of life service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021, also at Little’s Funeral Home with interment immediately following at Historic St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Smithfield. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to your favorite Christian charity.

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