Tribute to Clara Sorenson

Clara Atkinson Sorenson, a 1935 Grayling High School graduate, was known and loved by hundreds of GHS graduates, some of whom met her for the first time at Senior Honors Night, where she presented the alumni association scholarships for many years.

Her parents, Marshall and Lottie Atkinson, bought the South Side Grocery Store on State Street around 1910. Clara married Robert Sorenson in 1936; they took over the grocery store and ran it until 1960.

Clara was a charter member of the GHS Alumni Association, which began in 1952. The association’s first official gathering was in the “old gym,” located on what is now two floors of Grayling Middle School. There were 265 people in attendance at the event.

Clara was elected the association’s first president. The other members of the executive board were Robert Welsh (Class of 1941), Vice President; Don Gothro (Class of 1935), Secretary; and Anna Swanson Gross (Class of 1926), Treasurer. Frank L. Bond was the superintendent of schools. Over the next 50 years, she held other volunteer positions in the alumni association, including director, membership secretary and unofficial historian.

“Clara was dedicated to the GHS Alumni Association,” said her daughter Nancy Sorenson Cox.

All of Clara’s children graduated from Grayling High School: Nancy (1954), Judy (1957), Norman (1962) and John (1966).

Five Cox grandchildren are also GHS graduates: Billy (1973), Joel (1975), Jamie (1978), David (1984), and Elissa (1993).

“Clara loved Grayling and the people here,” said Nancy Sorenson Cox.

And the people of Grayling loved Clara right back.