Hervy Golding Kolkjær Sørensen, 92 years old, died peacefully on July 18, 2018 at Doctors Medical Center in Modesto, California.
Hervy was born to parents Christian and Johanne Sørensen on August 8, 1925 in the town of Taulov, Denmark. Hervy is preceded in death by his parents, his brother Jeppe, sister Elisabeth Madsen, and his wife Helen.
Hervy was very proud of his Danish heritage and he had fond memories of his family and his young life in Denmark. As a child, he learned about woodworking from his father who was an accomplished organ builder and Hervy demonstrated his unique skill and knowledge of this craft throughout his life. At the age of 15, Hervy left his home in Taulov and moved into a boarding house in the town of Fredericia, where he graduated from high school in 1942. After high school, Hervy attended a gymnastics academy on the island of Fyn, then returned to Fredericia where he worked at a grocery store while attending business college at night. After four years, with business degree in hand, he was called into mandatory military service and relocated to Kolding where he served one and one half years in support of the Post Office and Distribution Center for the Danish army. In 1948, following his military discharge, he enrolled in a sign painting and window design school, and subsequently continued his career in the grocery business, eventually making his way to Copenhagen where he would begin preparation for emigration to the United States.
On November 28, 1951, Hervy boarded a Norwegian cruise liner in Copenhagen bound for the United States. He arrived at Ellis Island in New York and rode a train to Chicago, where he worked as a dishwasher, saving money for travel to California. Five months later, he and a friend drove across the United States, arriving in Turlock, California on April 27, 1952. In Turlock, Hervy was introduced to his aunt Katherine Mortensen and her daughters Mary and Esther. The Mortensen ladies impressed upon him his need for salvation through Jesus Christ, and he started to read The Bible (in Danish). In October of 1953, after attending a series of evangelistic meetings at the Turlock Fairgrounds, Hervy prayed to receive Christ as his personal savior. In his own words, this was the moment when, “My life changed forever. I found true peace, and the strength to overcome many worldly habits and live my life in complete surrender to God”.
In 1954, Hervy had saved enough money to attend Armstrong Business College in Berkeley, California, where he graduated in 1955. After graduation, he worked as a salesman at the Henningsen and Folsom Company, a manufacturer of Formica countertops. In 1956, while attending the First Presbyterian Church in Berkeley, Hervy began dating Helen Johnson. They were married at that church on January 25, 1958, with a following reception and dinner at the Claremont Hotel. In 1960, Hervy and Helen relocated to Turlock, where Hervy found employment at Artcraft Industries. He worked at Artcraft until 1967, when he was offered a new position as Sales Manager at Nordic Saw & Tool Manufacturers. He worked at Nordic for 23 years until his retirement in 1990.
A charter member of Monte Vista Chapel in Turlock for over 40 years, Hervy served as Financial Secretary, Head Usher, Treasurer, Member of the Counsel of Advisors and the Board of Elders, and on committees for finance, landscape, communion, baptism, and pastoral nomination. In addition, Hervy also served for eight years on the Board of Directors at Missionary Gospel Fellowship in Turlock, including three years as acting Treasurer.
In the record of his personal testimony, Hervy references Romans 10:9 as recurring inspiration, “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (NKJV)
Hervy has loved living in the community at Samaritan Village, Hughson for nearly the past 6 years, where he had many dear friends.
Surviving family members include his daughters Carla (Allan) Merrill and Kristi (Troy) Viss of Turlock; grandchildren Jordan (Kate) Merrill of Arroyo Grande, Luke (Frida) Merrill of Örkelljunga, Sweden, Elan (Darci) Viss of Hickman, and Ana Viss of Turlock; and great grandchildren Milla Merrill, Levi Merrill, JP Merrill, Julia Merrill and Aron Merrill. Hervy’s surviving family in Denmark includes: brother Flemming (Asta) Sørensen and his daughters Susanne Sørensen and Christina Sørensen; additional nieces and nephews: Hanne (Claus) Vestergaard, Soren (Ketty) Sørensen, Lone Madsen, Else (Steen) Jensen; along with his cousins: Holger (Christina) Jensen, and Christian (Stine) Jensen.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 28 at Turlock Funeral Home, 425 N. Soderquist Rd., Turlock. A reception will commence, immediately following the service on Saturday, at Monte Vista Chapel, 1619 E. Monte Vista Ave., Turlock. A private interment will be held at Turlock Memorial Park at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Missionary Gospel Fellowship, 1300 N. Berkeley Ave., Turlock, CA 95380 or to Near Frontiers, 3802 Verona Ave., Turlock, CA 95382.