LIVINGSTON — After the death of Kate Sorensen, the community of Livingston is reeling. Sorensen was a beloved teacher who taught fourth grade and music at St. Mary’s Catholic School. Those who knew her said that she was a wonderful person who will be sorely missed.
For Father Garrett Nelson, Sorensen was not just a colleague, but a friend.
“She was very wonderful, you know, I had a lot of great conversations with her. She raised dogs, she rescued dogs and things like that,” said Nelson at St. Mary’s Catholic Church on Sunday.
Nelson, who worked with Sorensen at St. Mary’s, said the entire school has felt a tremendous loss.
“It wasn’t just one particular class that was affected, although fourth graders were affected more. All of the students had her as a music teacher, so it was sort of a shock to the whole system,” Nelson said.
The church held a vigil for Sorensen on Tuesday. Nelson said he will always remember the times they spent together discussing various aspects of religion.
“She would always ask me questions about various different topics, and we had some really good conversations. She just, she believed in Christ,” said Nelson.
Nelson said she was also an exceptional pianist and would play the organ for St. Mary’s from time to time. She even gave piano lessons and it was through those lessons that she taught Kristin Wachob’s daughters.
“She loved kids, she was really funny. She always brightened up a room,” said Wachob.
Wachob said the loss to the community is palpable.
“She impacted so many people and so many kids. I know the loss is going to be huge and felt probably forever,” Wachob said.
Like Nelson, Wachob said that Sorensen was passionate about animals, even adopting a goat from her at one point.
“She actually had some local bison fur spun into yarn and she has hats here for sale,” said Wachob.
Wachob owns Gray’s General Store on East Clark Street in Livingston. She said the proceeds sold from the hats will go to Sorensen’s family and that’s just one way the community is remembering her.
“Lutheran Church in Bozeman has offered to donate a xylophone in honor of Kate because she was a musician, she was the music teacher. Her dream was to get a big xylophone to the school,” said Nelson.
St. Mary’s will be putting a plaque on the donated xylophone in memory of Sorensen so that she’ll forever be honored at the campus.
“She was just so wonderful. All around just a wonderful person, and she’s going to be deeply, deeply missed,” Wachob said.