June 23, 1922 - January 7, 2008
With the death of Richard C. Sorlien, Sierra County suffers another loss. Although he lived and worked in Philadelphia, Richard Sorlien kept much of his love of life centered at his Alaska Mine property in Pike City. There he planted thousands of trees including 3,000 Sierra Redwoods after the fire of 1959 swept through. Now there is a thriving grove with trees five feet in diameter and over one hundred feet tall. Many individual trees are dedicated to members of the Sorlien clan standing as regal memorials to people Dick Sorlien loved.
Dick Sorlien also served on the Sixteen-to-One board of directors for many years, lending his legal experience to that enterprise. As a tax and commercial law attorney with Pepper, Hamilton & Scheetz for 46 years, Dick lived in nearby Villanova, PA. He was a graduate of Harvard and Harvard Law (1949) with a three and a half year interruption in his academic career for service as a U.S. Navy officer in WW II.
When not in his office or in Pike, Sorlien was apt to be on a tennis court, somewhere in the world. He started playing the game at age seven on a grass court at his home in Minnesota and continued with a fine career of amateur tennis throughout his life. Periodically, he would appear at the Downieville court and challenge the kids to a game while he gave them a lesson both in tennis and deportment. Mr. Sorlien was a gentleman on and off the court. His love and support of tennis included contributions to the Downieville Tennis and Education Association program which he called the best one-court program in the country.
A long time officer of the United States Tennis Association, Mr. Sorlien competed at the US Nationals at Forest Hills, the All England Championships at Wimbledon and he won the 1982 60s Singles International Tennis Federation World Championships in Australia. He was team captain and played in many international team events and was a nationally ranked player in age group play throughout his tennis career.
Surviving Mr. Sorlien are his wife Rebecca S. Drury, children Sandy, Christopher and Eric Sorlien and Charlotte McLaughlin; grandchildren Mariel Sorlien and Patri McLaughlin; sister Katherine Holman, and nephew, Cai Sorlien. He was predeceased by his brothers Kenneth and Robert Sorlien.
Memorial donations may be sent to The Sorlien Cup, International Lawn Tennis Club of the United States, 7020 Heatherhill Road, Bethesda, MD 20817 or to Downieville Tennis and Education Ass'n, P.O. Box 518, Downieville, CA 95936.