Marvin Jay Soerens

Marvin Jay Soerens of Cedar Grove died Thursday, Oct. 11, at Cedar Grove Gardens. He was 94.

Mr. Soerens was born on May 15, 1924, in Cedar Grove to Gerrit William and Mary TenPas Soerens.

Mr. Soerens lived in Cedar Grove all his life and was known as Stormy, a nickname given to him as a child by the owner of a village harness shop owner after he ran into the shop in a hurry to find a piece of leather to use for a project, Mr. Soerens’ daughter Christine Buzaitis said.

That energy was a characteristic of him throughout his life, she said.

“He was very active and hardworking,” she said.

Mr. Soerens attended Cedar Grove High School. He enlisted in the U.S. Army during World War II and served from 1943 to 1946 in North Africa and Italy.

One day before he was to go on leave to Rome with some other soldiers, their position was shelled and a piece of shrapnel went through his arm pit and embedded itself near his spine, his daughter said. For that he was awarded the Purple Heart

The shard of metal remained in his body throughout his life.

“He would pull out the X-ray and show it to kids at school and places,” Mrs. Buzaitis said. “They didn’t take it out because it was too close to his spine. But it never slowed him down.”

He met his future wife, Vera Nelson, when he and a friend went dancing at The Palladium in Sheboygan and met two sisters.

The two men tried to pair up with the sisters but the younger one, Vera, didn’t care for Mr. Soerens’ friend. The two met again at another dance and he and Vera hit it off, their daughter said.  

On July 2, 1949, they were married in Sheboygan. They lived in Cedar Grove near his mother. In 1953 they moved to a house on Windmill Beach Road east of the village, where they lived for 52 years.

Dancing continued to be one of their favorite activities, especially at The Palladium, Mrs. Buzaitis said.

“It was one of their favorite places to go,” she said. “He said she was his favorite dance partner.”

Mrs. Soerens died on Oct. 17, 2017.

Mr. Soerens was employed at JM Bruce Foundry in Cedar Grove as a foreman in the core room, retiring at the age of 62.

Afterwards, he worked at Dirkse Piggly Wiggly in Cedar Grove until he was 90 years old.

“He bagged groceries, stocked shelves, carried people’s groceries out to their car,” his daughter said. “He was a people person and enjoyed working there.”

Mr. Soerens attended St. John Evangelist Catholic Church and was a 72-year member of Vander Jagt Bruine American Legion Post 338 in Cedar Grove.

One of his biggest thrills late in life was going on an Honor Flight in 2010 with other veterans, his daughter said.

Mr. Soerens is survived by his daughters, Christine (Michael) Buzaitis of Sheboygan and Elizabeth (Anthony) Sproehlich of Grafton; grandchildren Robert Buzaitis, Steven Buzaitis, Jonathon (Cathy) Buzaitis, Ryan (special friend Amber) Lynch, and Thomas Lynch; two great-grandchildren; brother-in-law Norman Nickel and sisters-in-law Doris Nickel, Nancy Nelson and Lesa Nelson.

Mr. Soerens was preceded in death by his parents; his wife; brothers Norbert, Gerald and William; sister Phyllis Velier; brothers-in-law Eugene Velier, Howard Sasse, Al Balthazor, Robert Nelson and James Nelson; and sisters-in-law Josephine, Delia, Arlene, Joyce, Jeannette Sasse and LaVerne Balthazor.

A memorial service with military honors will be held at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 17, at the Wenig Funeral Home in Oostburg.

Visitation will be from 3 p.m. until the service at the funeral home.

An inurnment will take place at Cedar Grove Cemetery at a later date.

A memorial fund is established in Mr. Soerens’ name for Mercy Ships at




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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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