History & Staff

We have years of experience caring for families, from all walks of life. Each family comes to us because they know we are leaders in our profession, dedicated to excellence in service, and have the highest integrity.

Our History

Sorenson Funeral Home Updates Facility As Business Passes Century Mark” by Shirley Schmook Established in 1892 by George Sorenson (1873-1936), the Sorenson Funeral home was initially located in the 100 block on Main Street in Grayling where Advanced Business Machines is now found.

A brother of George’s, Olaf, owned and operated a sporting goods store in the building recently occupied by Cartright and Danewell in downtown Grayling. Olaf also advertised as a “soda fountain and ice cream parlor” and handled a “complete line of cards, books, letter-writing materials and much-much more.”

George Sorenson and another brother, James, were partners in Sorenson Brothers Furniture Store and George engaged in his funeral practice in conjunction with the furniture store operation.

An Avalanche advertisement at year-end circa 1906 said of them, “this store also has an undertaking service that is modern in every detail. They are completely equipped for this line of work as both James W. and George Sorenson understand their business and are well known for the courteous manners and gentle sympathy when their services are required.”

The familiar eight-sided coffin actually evolved through generations of cabinet and furniture makers. Crafting decorative coffins was as common to them as are kitchen cabinetry to the carpenters of today. Many of the early funeral homes of the country were originally operated as a natural extension of the furniture store business.

George Sorenson married Anine Johnson (1891-1964) in Grayling and the couple had four children: Thorvald became a radiologist working in Grayling and Highland Park hospitals, eventually acquiring his Ph. D., Alfred remained as a funeral director in Grayling, Loretta married Jerome Kesseler of Grayling and Keith owned and operated a funeral home in Daggett. All four are now deceased. Alfred J. Sorenson joined his father and older brother, Thorvald, in his family business and was called “Bud” by everyone in town. He married Doris Harnois of Saginaw and they had three daughters; Marlene (Lippard), Denise (McEvers), and Marcia (Sullivan).

After George Sorenson died in 1936, his two young sons, Thorvald and Alfred attempted to carry on the funeral business, but were not able to keep it going. There was a short lapse in the business until 1938, when Alfred Sorenson obtained his embalmer’s and funeral director’s licenses.

Alfred “Bud” Sorenson and his wife, Doris, opened their funeral home business in 1938 at 306 Chestnut Street in Grayling. This place was much too small, so in 1940, Bud and Doris purchased the large building at 500 Michigan Avenue to be their new location. This building at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Chestnut Street was originally the Presbyterian Church building and at the time Bud and Doris purchased it, it was the home of Amos and Matilda Hunter. The Hunter’s lived in the upstairs portion and operated their dairy business in the basement.

The Sorenson’s lived and operated their funeral home business in this location for many years. It was not until 1968 that A.J. “Bud” Sorenson and his wife, Doris, began construction of the current location on North Down River Road. This fine brick building was completed in 1969 by Hallmark Construction of Lansing. Hallmark was also responsible for designing and construction the former Graying State Bank building (now Citizens Bank).

In 1976, Alfred and Doris decided to retire. Derek and Denise (Sorenson) McEvers purchased the funeral home from her parents and they have owned and operated Sorenson Funeral Home since that time. The McEvers have recently completed an extensive refurbishing of the interior of the building. The casket-display room in the lower portion of the building had undergone some renovation. AuSable Construction of Grayling did much of the general work in the basement level“¬¶

Derek McEvers said much has changed in the funeral business since he was first licensed in 1958. “in the old days, all that was required to the casket was a wooden box.”

Bud and Derek used to construct these “roughboxes” themselves. “When Harvey Roland managed the lumberyard for T.P. Peterson, (now Wolohan’s) we’d call and give him the dimensions, and he kept everything  pre-cut for us. Everything was worked out by size and he kept a listing of the sizes we used.” In 1972, the City of Grayling began to require a “rigid container” for burial purposes and the concrete vaults came into regular use. McEvers said the “first protracted viewing of a body was that of Abraham Lincoln after his assassination. He was moved across country by train for several days.

And that was when embalming really got started, as sanitation, preservation, and restoration of the deceased were at issue.

There were seven recorded deaths the year the Sorenson’s Funeral Home opened for business n 1892--“¬¶This many deaths in a small village was not uncommon in the late 1800’s. Typhoid outbreaks and influenza were natural assassinations, especially for the elderly and the very young.

1999-2004

Dean Meyering became the new Funeral Director and sole proprietor on June 17, 1999.

Our Valued Staff

  • Terrie Lynn Lockwood

    Terrie Lynn Lockwood Owner/Manager

    Richard and Terrie Lockwood purchased the funeral home and changed the name to Sorenson-Lockwood Funeral Home, Inc. The Lockwood's have lived in Grayling since 1994. The goal of serving the community and personalizing the service to individual needs is utmost in the mission of this family operated business. Terrie is the Licensed Funeral Director and other members of the family work together to help families at one of the most difficult times in their lives. Becoming a funeral director is the realization and fulfillment of a dream that began in high school and after 20 years as a Registered Nurse, Terrie changed professions and completed the education and apprenticeship that is required in the State of Michigan to obtain a license to practice as a Mortuary Science Licensee. Thus a new chapter in the history of funeral service is underway in Grayling, Michigan.
    Since purchasing the funeral home, Terrie has taken the opportunity to attend several educational offerings to keep up to date on changes in funeral service.
    In 2006, Terrie became a Certified Funeral Celebrant. A Certified Funeral Celebrant is able to conduct a funeral service and bring forth many of the accomplishments of the deceased in their living years as well as add unique stories, songs, and experiences that defined the loved one. This type of service may provide an alternative to families that are not affiliated with a church or who do not wish to have a traditional service. The essence of the service will be based on the remembrances of the family.

  • Clinton W. Ross

    Clinton W. Ross Licensed Funeral Director

    In August of 2011, Clinton Ross joined the staff at Sorenson-Lockwood Funeral Home just after graduating from Wayne State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Mortuary Science; passed the National Board Exam; and in April of 2012, passed the Michigan State Board exam to become a licensed funeral director.
    Clinton looks forward to staying in the Grayling area and serving the needs of the community along side Terrie and Rick Lockwood.

  • Rick  Lockwood

    Rick Lockwood Owner

    Rick is not licensed, but wears many hats at the funeral home and generally does whatever is necessary to help our funeral home run smoothly. He offers compassionate care to those in need of our assistance. Rick has attended funeral service conventions and is a Certified Preplanning Consultant(CPC).
    CPC is a program sponsored by the National Funeral Directors Association to provide non-licensed personnel with a knowledge of funeral service to assist families coming to the funeral home.
    Rick is the person that we rely on when a family desires to put a DVD of photos together for visitations and services.

  • Dick and  Alice Smith

    Dick and Alice Smith

    Dick and Alice Smith are Terrie's parents and they assist at different levels as needed. They have always been behind Terrie in her educational and professional goals and have never told her that she couldn't do something. Dick knows that it would just fuel her fire to succeed. Dick passed away in 2014. His last public outing before he died was to attend the Open House that was held on October 5, 2014 at the funeral home. Alice is at a very part time status but still a vital part of our history.

  • Gizmo  .

    Gizmo .

    Head Greeter and Comforter, along with his sidekick and daughter Roxie.
    The truth is that they are inseparable and enjoy hearing the words "Lets go to work" every morning.