Dean Sorensen has been on his own for two years now as D. Sorensen Construction. Having worked in construction for 22 before. Sorensen’s first job on his own was on the nursing home remodel. “I did all the suspended ceiling, changed all the tile in the ceiling. Did the wainscoting and handrails.”
Recently, he has been remodeling houses - replacing windows and doors. Doing siding work. Continuing a long-term job east of the Gap. And, working on his own remodel at the Sorensen home on the west end of town.
Dean took the big step to go solo two years ago. He had been doing a few jobs on his own when time permitted. “I had quite a few people pushing me to go on my own. But, it was just time.”
Marlene says, “He’s done really well on his own,” working from Barber to Moore to Checkerboard to Big Timber.
Dean says, “Marlene is the bookkeeper. I’m just the laborer.”
Marlene returns, “I keep him straight and he keeps me straight.”
Dean was born in Harlowton, but grew up in Bozeman from age four. He is a younger Sorensen. Fourteen years separate him from his elder brother, Dave, with sister Grace in the middle.
He attended Helena Vo Tech for 18 months studying Building Trade, mostly carpentry. Dean then spent a year in Bozeman working with a couple different contractors. He came back to Harlo in 1983 to work for Ron Fischer at a time when jobs weren’t so readily available in the now very busy Bozeman area. “We did anything and everything (at Fischer and Sons Construction). New houses. Remodeling. Some commercial work. We built the pump houses for the city lagoon.”
Marlene (formerly Murphy) was born in Lewistown and grew up in a family of six which moved to Harlowton when she was just a year old. She has been working at Wheatland Memorial Healthcare for 19 years, starting as a CNA and later ward clerk, housekeeper, central supply clerk, and operating room technician. She became business office manager in 1997, the job she presently holds.
Marlene and Dean raised four children: Cory in Sheridan, Jodi in Vancouver, WA, Carie in Manhattan, and Callie in Colorado Springs. They have nine grandchildren.
The Sorensens are much involved in Faith Chapel - Assembly of God. They have also traveled overseas on church-related and similiar missions. In 2001, they went to Poland to do church construction. Marlene was the first woman to go on a such a project as building trades laborer. “I wasn’t going to just sit around and watch the men work.”
In 2002, they joined a construction team sponsored by Provision International and worked in Slovakia. In 2004, the Sorensens were part of similar team that took a LONG bus ride into Mexico to work on a church retreat center. Most recently, they went to Moldova where they laid tile in a church. “We’re open to another trip. I’m sure we’ll go somewhere again. Maybe Africa,” says Dean.
Marlene reflects, “One of the most valuable things about such a trip is just seeing another part of the world. It changes your perspective. You come back realized that you are so blessed here. God has blessed America.”
The Sorensens have also been involved regularly in the annual Kiwanis Show at least since Dean was Kiwanis President in 1998. Dean sings in the Men’s Chorus and Marlene does the closing slide show.
While Dean is a hunter, fisherman and Broncos fan, both the Sorensens are avid golfers. “Dean taught me to golf. I was club champion a couple of years. So was Dean.” Actually, Dean was club champion four different years.
The Sorensens enjoy Harlowton. Dean says, “It’s a small town.” Marlene adds, “It’s home. It’s comfortable.
Regarding building and the future here, Dean suggests, “There’s talk of a lot more stuff happening here. The future looks pretty good. It’s amazing the number of people that are doing construction in the area now and it seems that everybody is staying busy.”