Edyth (Edy) Mary Sorensen passed away peacefully on May 30th, 2020 after living with Alzheimer’s for many years, she was 82. Edy was born on November 26, 1937 in San Francisco to parents Mario Balestra and Margaret (Dioguardi) Balestra. The family moved to Santa Rosa in the late 1940’s and owned the Villa Trailer Park and were partners in Superior Supplies Cement Co. Edy graduated from Santa Rosa High School in 1956 and married her high school sweetheart Lorin Sorensen on July 6, 1956. They lived in Santa Rosa and then Stockton while Lorin worked security for Sears. They had always referred to St. Helena as ‘Shangri-La’ and finally moved the family (with 3 children in tow) in 1972. They started Silverado Publishing so that Lorin could write full-time as a Historian, he wrote 15 books on Ford history, as well as ‘Old-Time Rodeo’ on the history of Western American Rodeo. Edy and Lorin marketed their books throughout the world of car enthusiasts, they spent summer vacations with their kids going to Car Club meets around the country driving their 1940 Ford Woody Station Wagon.
Edy worked at the St. Helena Elementary School as the school secretary in the late 1970’s. She was extremely active in Rutherford 4-H and St. Helena schools. Edy enjoyed volunteering in the St. Helena community, and in 1980 she started organizing and distributing Christmas food baskets for the underserved in the upper Napa Valley during the holiday seasons. The programs she created evolved over time, and through collaboration with the churches in town and with help from Napa Food Bank, she co-founded the St. Helena Food Pantry. She was a member of Car Clubs, quilting groups, kayak groups, and had many interests.
She loved all holidays, especially Easter and 4th of July, and her immense, holiday-specific costume jewelry collection made those around her smile. Edy was known for her huge Easter parties at their ‘Ranch’ on the corner of Silverado Trail and Deer Park Rd. She welcomed many guests every year to take part in fishing derbies and Easter bonnet contests. She had a great sense of humor and was widely known for floating a huge blow-up Godzilla in her pond for passersby to giggle at as they drove up Deer Park Rd. She loved board games and ice cream with her grandkids, and she enjoyed watching and supporting their many sports and school teams, primarily Football, Basketball, Volleyball, and Lacrosse.
Her husband, Lorin, predeceased her in 2009. She is survived by her daughters Jill Olson and Jane Ballentine (Bill), son John Sorensen, and grandchildren Carter, Blake, Cole, Grant, Claire, and Caroline.
A special thank you to Stayman Estate and San Pablo Healthcare Center for their compassionate attention while in Continuum Hospice care. Services were held in a small family ceremony at St. Helena Cemetery on 06/08/2020.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations in Edy’s name to the St. Helena Fire Dept. or Rianda House.
Sign up to get the most recent local obituaries delivered to your inbox.