Laurel S. Sorenson

Laurel Shaw Sorenson, 60, of Chatham died June 1 of ovarian cancer. She leaves family in Sandwich.

Ms. Sorenson was born in Melrose to Agnes M. Shaw Sorenson of Barnstable Village and Richard E. Sorenson, who died in 2009.

She graduated with honors from Smith College in Northampton, where she majored in psychology, concentrating on children with learning disabilities. She was a member of the Psi Chi National Honor Society in Psychology.

Ms. Sorenson began her career as a business reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette in Northampton, where she covered the effects of rising interest rates. In 1980, she was hired by The Wall Street Journal, where she covered markets and economic trends in the paper’s Chicago and San Francisco bureaus.

After leaving The Wall Street Journal, she worked as a freelance editorial consultant and writer for magazines including Forbes, National Geographic Traveler, and Sylvia Porter’s Personal Finance. She also collaborated on several family business books.

In 1992, she moved to Cape Cod, and then worked for 20 years as an employment specialist with Community Connections Inc., a nonprofit human services agency assisting adults with disabilities.

In 2008, the Association of Developmental Disabilities Providers honored Ms. Sorenson as one of the state’s best direct support professionals.

She moved to Chatham in 2002 and became active in a variety of conservation and community projects, including the Land Bank Open Space Committee and the Chatham Conservation Foundation. She also helped develop the Chatham Labyrinth in Chase Park and Sylvan Gardens off Old Main Street.

Ms. Sorenson was an avid hiker and gardener. She also enjoyed taking long, solitary early-morning ocean swims, even during her treatment for cancer.

In addition to her mother, Ms. Sorenson leaves her brother, Richard Sorenson Jr. and his wife, Stephanie Sorenson, of Sandwich; and two nieces, Riley and Calie Sorenson.

Private services and burial will be held at the family plot at Mosswood Cemetery in Cotuit.

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