- Holly Sorenson Buck
Holly Sorenson Buck walked into Rich Wollensak's Waterbury, Vt., dental office, told him of her hygienist experience, noted that they had 5-year olds in school together and basically said: "I want to work here, and you need to hire me." That was 1995, and so blossomed a wonderful relationship, both professionally and as families, which sadly ended June 24, when Holly died of ocular cancer at her Waterbury Center home. She was 63.
Born in Forest City, Iowa, on December 21, 1955, she was the fourth of five children from Morris and Wilma (Houston) Sorenson. Upon moving to Maine, they reestablished farming in Newport, then Norridgewock.
As a smiling little blond youngster, Holly sold vegetables from a roadside wagon her father built, and she loved animals, especially horses. She learned to leap onto the back of her horse, Inky, then race bareback through the fields! Her father said she became his best farmhand, taking charge of their 45,000 chickens.
She graduated from Skowhegan High School in 1974, the Maine School of Practical Nursing as a licensed practical nurse (LPN) in 1977 and the University of Vermont as a dental hygienist in 1990, this time as a single mother of three. A week before graduation, Holly married Rob Buck, and that fall their son Christian was born.
They settled into South Hero, Vt., then in 1994 moved to Waterbury Center, to their house on the hill she loved and honed, making stone walks and walls, and helping their family friend Cal, who could build anything. Flowers adorned the property, as did a garden that would feed them throughout a winter. She raised sheep, pigs and chickens, and it was a real sport watching Holly wrestle a lamb back behind the fence! She even leashed her sheep, taking them for walks.
Holly enjoyed outdoor sports and the violin, and she volunteered for the Waterbury Ambulance and the Tooth Tutor program. She loved traveling the world but cherished returning to Maine's wild coast.
She said in her high school yearbook: "There are many philosophies of Life … has anyone thought of just Living it." She did. Her modest demeanor did not seek the grandiose, but instead a job well done, and along the way she gave so much to so many.
Holly was straightforward and told it like it was; she shared sage advice, kindness, grace and humor, and she exuded confidence. Shy of the limelight, she just couldn't hide her endearing person — nor her infectious laugh. Even if you didn't see her, you knew she and her good spirit were near.
Most difficult was how to explain things to her 3-and-a-half-year-old granddaughter:
"Abbie, you know I'm really sick."
"Well, it's going to make me go away, and I won't be back."
"Where are you going?"
"I really don't know, but if you see a wild horse running through the fields, it's probably me."
Holly was predeceased by her parents and a niece. Also Moe the cat, Sugar the dog and numerous others from years past, including Inky the horse; all of her sheep, pigs and chickens, whose names were poorly recorded; and as many squirrels as possible, because they ate last year's pear crop, the day before they were to be picked, and Holly was really ripped!
She is survived by her husband, Rob Buck; daughter Heather Calhoun of Tucson, Ariz.; sons Aaron Sorensen of Montpelier, Todd Healy of Fairfield, Maine, and Christian Buck of Waterbury Center; Bonnie Sorenson of Manchester, Mass.; Becky Vigneault Winthrop, Maine; Edmund Sorenson of Meriden, Conn.; Dana Sorenson of Layton, Utah; three grandchildren; and two nephews.
In lieu of flowers, donations would be appreciated for the Waterbury Ambulance Service, P.O. Box 95, Waterbury Center, VT 05677; Central Vermont Home Health and Hospice, 600 Granger Rd., Barre, VT 05641 (cvhhh.org); or Central Vermont Medical Center's Cancer Center Patient Fund, P.O. Box 547, Barre, VT 05641.
Assisting the family is the Perkins-Parker Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Waterbury. To send online condolences and read a more complete obituary, please visit perkinsparker.com or the funeral home Facebook page.
A formal celebration of Holly's life will take place July 21, 2019, at the Blush Hill Country Club in Waterbury, Vt., from 1 to 4 p.m. An RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org would be appreciated.