Cover photo for Robert H. Sorensen's Obituary
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1921 Robert 2009

Robert H. Sorensen

March 14, 1921 — September 24, 2009

Peterborough, NH
Robert H. Sorensen, of RiverMead, Peterborough, NH, died Thursday, September 24, 2009 at RiverMead Retirement Community after a long, courageous battle with Alzheimers Disease.
Mr. Sorensen retired as Chairman of the Board of Perkin-Elmer in 1985. The Norwalk, Connecticut based corporation was chosen by Duns Review as one of the five best managed companies in America under his leadership. Perkin-Elmer was a global leader in optics and analytical instruments, most notably the Hubble Space Telescope. Robert Sorensen served on many boards including the Olin Corporation, the Union Trust, the Southern New England Telephone Company and Connecticuts governor-appointed Technology Board. He was recognized as Wilton, Connecticuts Citizen of the Year in 1981.
Born March 14, 1921 in Racine, Wisconsin to Viggo and Lydia (Holm) Sorensen. He attended Grand View Jr. College in Des Moines, Iowa in 1938. Mr. Sorensen served in the U.S. Naval Reserve from 1943 to 1946. Following Grand View he attended Northwestern and Harvard Universities and began his career with Sperry Rand (Univac) as a development engineer and patent agent. He then joined Perkin-Elmer Corporation in 1959 and was elected as Vice President in 1961. In 1969, he was elected a Director of the company and four years later, was elected President and Chief Operating Officer. He was designated Chief Executive Officer in 1977 and was elected Chairman of the Board in 1980, succeeding the late Chester W. Nimitz, Jr. He held that position until his retirement in 1985.
Mr. Sorensen was an accomplished world traveler and had visited seven continents through the years. He enjoyed playing golf and vacationing at his beloved Birkehus (Birchhouse) in Rockingham, Vermont. He especially enjoyed spending quality time with his family, especially his grandchildren.
In 1996, Mr. Sorensen and his wife moved to RiverMead, a full-service Lifetime Retirement Community in Peterborough, New Hampshire.
Mr. Sorensen was preceded in death by his son Mark Sorensen in 1981. Survivors include his wife, Harriet K. Sorensen, of Peterborough, New Hampshire; a daughter, Anitra Sorensen, of Temple, New Hampshire; two sons, Scott Sorensen, of Honolulu, Hawaii and Lyle Sorensen, of Norfolk, Massachusetts; and six grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Mr. Sorensens name to Alzheimer\'s Association, One Bedford Farms Drive, Suite 105, Bedford, NH 03110

Burial will take place at the convenience of the family in Wilton, Connecticut.

At Mr Sorensens request, there will be no calling hours.

Memorialservices will be private.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Robert H. Sorensen, please visit our flower store.


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