Daughter of Phillip and Luciana Akiona of Molokai, Hawaii, Verna was the second youngest of nine children. Beloved daughter, sister, grandmother and friend, she was a Bainbridge resident for over 35 years. Verna passed peacefully in Hospice after battling declining health due to strokes.
Verna graduated from Kamehameha Boarding School in 1956 and perused her love of teaching with a degree in Education from the University of Wisconsin. She met her ex-husband, Phil Sorensen, on a visit back to Hawaii, they married on Molokai, moved to Seattle and had two children. They eventually settled on Bainbridge in 1980.
Her days were always busy with gardening, hiking, reading, baking, and spending time with friends. She was an active member of St. Cecilia’s parish and a retiree from North Kitsap Elementary. After retiring, Verna enjoyed traveling and volunteering through the church and events within the Island’s Japanese and Filipino community. Once her two grandchildren were born, she helped in their care and never missed a sporting event. She will be remembered for her love of family, contagious smile and humble attitude.
Verna is survived by her two children, Hokulani Orton (Greg) and Kekoa Sorensen (Dena), two grandchildren (Kailani and Makoa), her sister Barbara Ballao and brother Gordon Akiona.
The family asks that any donations in Verna’s memory be made to the Damien and Marianne of Molokai Education Center.