Gary Dean Sorensen, age 73, of Joplin, passed away on Sunday, November 20, 2022, with his family by his side at Mercy Hospital in Joplin.
Gary, son of the late Alfred and Leonna (Hadden) Sorensen, was born on October 20, 1949, in Quincey, IL. He moved to the area at a young age attending Carthage and McDonald County Schools. After graduating from McDonald County high school, he attended Missouri Southern State University, where he was a founding member of the Kappa Alpha Order and was involved in the theater arts program. After completing his Bachelor of Science in education, he went to work as an Insurance Agent for a time before discovering his true passion for serving others. Gary spent his early food service career working for Mazzio’s Corporation, supervising restaurants across the South and Midwest. He owned and operated both Mazzio’s Pizza locations in Joplin for over 20 years and was known as the “Pizza Man.” He always had an easy smile and a kind word for his customers. He would open the restaurant on Thanksgiving and Christmas evenings because he wanted to make sure everyone had a place to feel welcome. On August 7, 1994, he was united in marriage to Tracy Evans in Carthage. Together they supported the local theatre and enjoyed traveling. She survives.
Also, surviving is his only daughter, Amanda Sorensen, of Siloam Springs, AR; his grand dog, Cassie, and service dog Hudson; and several nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by one brother, Alfred “Jr” Sorensen, and one sister, Janet Taylor.
Celebration of Life services will be held on Tuesday, November 29, 2022, at 11:00 AM at Parker Mortuary in Joplin, with burial to follow at Fairview Cemetery in Joplin. The family requests casual attire (DC or Marvel shirts!), and all are encouraged to bring stories and fond memories of Gary to share. The family will receive friends for a time of visitation on Monday, November 28th, from 5:00 PM until 7:00 PM at Parker Mortuary. Memorial contributions may be made to The Assistance Fund or the Kappa Alpha Order and may be entrusted to the mortuary in memory of Gary.
Arrangements are under the personal care and direction of Parker Mortuary, Joplin.