In memory of
Julianne Kay Grenzer
Julianne Kay Grenzer
Oct. 27, 1942 - Oct. 13, 2019
Julie, beloved mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend to many, passed away peacefully Oct. 13, 2019, in the loving presence of her two sons and extended family.
Julie was born in Portland Oct. 27, 1942, to Henry and Florence Sorensen, Danish and second generation Danish immigrants, respectively. Henry served as a ship captain U.S. Merchant Marine in the North Atlantic during WWII and then made numerous intercoastal and trans-Pacific crossings over the following three decades. Along with Julie's grandfather, Svenning Hansen, Florence worked the small family farm at the corner of Murray and Allen Boulevards, where Julie grew up with her three siblings. The family was nearly fully self-sustaining, raising cows, sheep, chickens, rabbits and growing and canning fruits and vegetables. Julie's love of and passion for gardening was a constant in her life and she maintained a vegetable garden at her brother Greg's farm in Hillsboro and a lovely flower garden at her home in Raleigh Hills.
Julie's mother was one of the founding members of St. Matthew Lutheran Church of Beaverton and Julie attended weekly services there her entire life. At the time of her passing, Julie was one of the longest continuously attending members of the congregation.
Julie met her husband-to-be, Bob, at Beaverton High School, from which she graduated in 1960. Julie then attended Pacific Lutheran University and Portland State University, and from the latter received her B.A.; she later received her Masters degree from Linfield College.
Julie began her teaching career in 1965 at the then newly-built Highland Park Middle School in Beaverton School District, serving as an English and Social Studies teacher in its inaugural year. Julie would devote her entire career to Highland Park, teaching hundreds of students over the next 33 years and is remembered by many as their favorite and most inspiring teacher. She continued her work for the Beaverton School District well into retirement, voluntarily tutoring disadvantaged students. She also volunteered for Habitat for Humanity for many consecutive years, helping build homes in the Yakima area.
Julie loved to travel and visited nearly every state in the U.S., including Alaska and Hawaii (where, prior to the wedding of her niece, she got a hole-in-one at the Makena golf course). She also traveled internationally, with trips to much of Europe. Amazingly, less than one month ago she visited several African countries to go on safari and to help distribute water purification equipment.
Julie embraced her Danish heritage, regularly hosting Aebleskiver and Aquavit Parties, the house adorned in the Danish red and white. She loved introducing friends to Danish traditions and culinary treats.
Julie loved the outdoors and was an avid hiker; from winter loops in Washington Square to Central Oregon trails and beyond, Julie loved lacing up her boots and trekking with her Mountain Goats group. She camped and rafted throughout the Pacific Northwest and even traveled by motorcycle across the U.S. Julie also loved being near the water, particularly times spent boating around Sauvie Island with Bob, or reading a book on her specially built "granny deck" at her son's house on the Willamette River in Wilsonville.
Julie's heart was filled with joy whenever spending time with her grandson, Jace, now 13 years old. Known to him as "Farmor" Danish for "father's mother" Julie was instrumental in Jace's Christian upbringing and help mold him into a respectful and decent young man. Jace fondly recalls their times playing pickleball and board games. Many of her friends recall that never a conversation went by with Julie where Jace wasn't mentioned. While Julie will be sorely missed by Jace in particular, she provided an outstanding foundation as he continues his journey into adulthood.
Robust and healthy until only recently, Julie succumbed to pancreatic cancer only weeks after being diagnosed.
Julie's beautiful life, constant love and supportive ear will forever be remembered by her high school sweetheart, Bob; brother, Greg Sorensen; sisters, Carleen Murdock and Theresa Lier; sons, Chris and Kurt; grandson, Jace; and a host of nieces, nephews and friends. Farvel our dearest Julie.
A "Celebration of Julie's Life" will be held at 4 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, at St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Beaverton.
Julie requested that in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Matthew Lutheran Church, 10390 S.W. Canyon Road, Beaverton, in Julie's memory.
Please sign the online guest book at www.oregonlive.com/obits
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