Ole Sorensen, a Real Change vendor since 2015, died on June 24. He was 57.
Sorensen was born in Copenhagen, the capital city of Denmark, on Feb. 16, 1965. He lived there until he was 12 years old, when his family moved to Spain and then to the United States. Sorensen attended Santa Ynez Valley Union High School in Santa Ynez, a small town near Santa Barbara in the heart of Southern California’s wine country. He later attended Santa Barbara City College, where he studied graphic design.
Sorensen produced graphic design work for various companies, including Microsoft and Wisteria Design Group, for nearly four decades, said April Small, his partner of 15 years. Eventually, his business fell on hard times, and he became a Real Change vendor, most recently selling outside the Wallingford QFC.
That was one of the places that Real Change Organizer Jacob Schear spent time with Sorensen. They tabled together outside the QFC, raising awareness about the social housing initiative that the Real Change Advocacy Department was backing.
Sorensen was active in the Vendor Organizing Committee, which Schear helps facilitate. He was smart and funny, with a great laugh, many opinions about the social housing program and a dim view of capitalism, Schear said.
“He had a lot of interesting insights based on his experience that we were lucky to have in those meetings,” Schear said. It was a shock when he learned that Sorensen had died — he had seen Ole just two days before.
Small described Sorensen as a “creative genius” and a man of many gifts and hobbies. He enjoyed cooking and partaking in Mediterranean, African and Thai cuisines. He also played chess with a group at Café Umbria in Pioneer Square on Sunday afternoons. Chess was his “favorite thing in the world,” Small wrote in a remembrance.
Sorensen left behind his partner, Small; her immediate family; several clients and longtime friends. A service will be held in coming weeks. If people would like to send flowers or cards, they can be delivered to 1111 31st Ave., Seattle, Washington, 98122.
Read more of the Aug. 17-23, 2022 issue.