Vernon Hyliard Sorgee, Jr.
April 17, 1940 - June 24, 2021
Vernon Hyliard Sorgee, Jr. 81 of Phoenix, Arizona, passed away on June 24, 2021. He was a native of Ranger, Texas, where he was born on April l7, l940. A graduate of the University of Texas, he majored in Physics and then received his Master's in Civil Engineering in l977.
Vern was preceded in death by his parents, Vernon Hilliard Sorgee and Effie Mae Sorgee, and his sister Gail Glover. He leaves his loving wife, Carol of more than 30 years; daughter Verna Sorgee Rhoades (Dustin); two stepchildren Cliff Mattice (Melissa) and Kathryn Walker (Steve) and eight grandchildren; Brisa Rhoades; Samantha Mattice; Spencer Mattice; Paul Walker (Melissa); Ryan Walker (Ruth Ann); Sarah Fullmer (Andrew); Spencer Walker (Brittany); and Kelsey Hyde(Taylor). He has 20 great-grandchildren. Vern will be missed by all for his sense of humor, fun, and adventure.
In his early years, Vern graduated from Polytechnical High School in Fort Worth, Texas, and Arlington State College in l965. He was a master mechanic who could take cars apart and put them back together effortlessly. He was always a problem solver who enjoyed challenging math or science problems that led him to get his degree in Physics and to eventually work at NASA.
He worked for over 34 years as an environmental engineer in the area of waste management, water quality, and remediation of underground storage tanks. He managed wastewater treatment projects at EPA in New Mexico and Oklahoma and was responsible for the development of a sediment survey of the Trinity River for the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers. He specialized in wastewater management while with Brown and Caldwell Consulting Engineers and Environmental Compliance at Frito-Lay Inc. and Greyhound Lines, Inc. and at various consulting firms. He owned his own company in Phoenix, Arizona, Southwest Environmental Consultants Inc., for over 20 years.
Vern is most proud of the time spent as an Associate Engineer and scientific programmer for a major NASA contractor, Lockheed Electronics Inc. As part of the NASA Program, he was well versed in Fortran IV programming, Univac computers, and Calcomp plotters. He was part of the Apollo Program when they landed on the moon in July l969.
Vern's gift of humor and his storytelling captivated his family and friends. His favorite pastimes included watching movies especially old westerns or Clint Eastwood. He liked to fish for hours and always asked others to join him. He was a passionate sportsman, a camper and he loved music by Willie Nelson, Bob Marley, and The Beach Boys. Most of all, he found great joy in helping other people as often as possible.
Vernon spent l965-l969 in the U. S. Army. In Vietnam, he was assigned to Company A, 2nd Battalion (mechanized), 22nd Infantry, 25th Infantry Division (Tropic Lightning). Lieutenant Sorgee, an operations officer in the ROTC division of the reserve forces office at Army headquarters, was cited for Meritorious Service in connection with ground operations against hostile forces in Vietnam on July l968 and November l968 with Bronze Stars. His other decorations include a Silver Star awarded in April l968 for Gallantry in Action. He was a member of Tau Beta Pi, Chi Epsilon, WPCF, and AWWA.
The family will be announcing a memorial service at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona with military honors at a later date. Please visit hansenmortuary.com for online condolences and notification of the service. In lieu of flowers please consider a memorial donation to the Disabled American Veterans, The Salvation Army, or Duet.
While we grieve deeply the loss of your presence in our lives, Vern, we send you our blessing:
May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
And the rain fall soft upon your field,
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.