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Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home & Cemeteries

5100 Pontchartrain Blvd, New Orleans, LA

OBITUARY

Donald F. Sorgenfrei

April 15, 1940November 9, 2016

Donald F. Sorgenfrei passed away peacefully after a brief illness on November 9, 2016 surrounded by his wife and children. He was born in Opelousas, Louisiana and resided in the New Orleans area for most of his life. A graduate of Warren Easton High School in 1958, he went on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from LSU in 1964. Upon graduating from LSU, Don served his country in the U.S. Army. Don followed his Father’s footsteps and began his career with Modjeski and Masters, Inc. as a Civil Engineer in 1966. He was Principal and Senior Vice President of Modjeski and Masters and in charge of the New Orleans Office before his retirement. During his tenure, Don was responsible for forming many of the strong ties that bind Modjeski & Masters Inc. to the railroad community. His vast knowledge and technical expertise in all phases of bridge engineering were the hallmark of his long and distinguished career highlighted by: Serving as Field Engineer, Resident Engineer, Project Manager and Principal in Charge for the construction of 10 railroad vertical lift bridges; Serving as Principal in Charge for the inspections of the Crescent City Connection I and II Bridges and the Huey P. Long Bridge over the course of much of his career; Was instrumental in the establishment and oversight of the firm’s Mid-America offices; Performed system-wide steel bridge inspections including actively inspecting over 500 bridges in 13 states, followed by the development and implementation of the 1st generation bridge inspection database; Taught steel bridge and movable bridge inspection classes to 3 Class 1 railroads plus American Bridge and Building Association and the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance Way Association. Don was a nationally recognized and respected bridge expert, whose experience was sought out by many agencies and companies. He was a Fellow and Life Member of the American Society of Civil Engineering, a Member of the Committee 8 (Concrete Structures and Foundations) and 10 (Structures, Maintenance and Construction) of the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance Way Association and served on their Board of Directors as well as Vice President of the Structures Group. He was also a Member of Society of American Military Engineers and the Steel Structures Painting Council. Don mentored innumerable young engineers, freely sharing his knowledge to aid them in their professional growth. Don’s greatest accomplishment was his dedication to his family. He is survived by his beloved wife of 55 years Julie B. Sorgenfrei, his children Ruth Sorgenfrei, Bill Sorgenfrei and Karen Champagne (Ty). Also survived by his grandchildren Cory (Laura), Eric, Peyton, Nicole and Katie, as well as his great granddaughter, Reese. Don is also survived by his sister Mary Alice Helms (Dave) of Chicago, as well as host of loving nieces and nephews. The family would like to thank the Staff and Nurses of West Jefferson Medical Center for their loving care of Don. Relatives and friends are invited to attend a funeral service on Monday, November 14, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. at Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home, 5100 Pontchartrain Blvd, New Orleans, LA 70124. Visitation will be held prior to the service beginning at 11:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Atonement Lutheran Church, 6500 Riverside Drive, Metairie, LA 70003.

Services

  • Visitation Monday, November 14, 2016
  • Funeral Service Monday, November 14, 2016

Memories

Donald F. Sorgenfrei

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Robert Kollmar

December 2, 2016

My deepest sympathy to the Sorgenfrei family and the Modjeski and Masters family. I counted on Don's tremendous knowledge, experience and insight during our five year working relationship. He will always be regarded as a true bridge expert and a fine gentleman - a very caring person and always with a smile.

November 17, 2016

Deepest condolences to the family and friends during this most difficult time. There are no words that can ease the pain of losing someone so beloved. May you find comfort and peace in knowing that your loved one is in God's memory. Psalms 116:15

Dave Petermeier

November 15, 2016

My sincere condolences to the entire family. As you know, Don was instrumental in establishing MM's MidAmerica offices. To say he was a significant influential mentor to myself and others in the office would be an understatement. He'll be greatly missed by all.

November 15, 2016

Julie,
Sandy and I are sorry that we were unable, because of health reasons, to travel to the funeral yesterday. I will always remember our times together during our younger days. Shooting his bow & arrow on the West End neutral ground; touring work in progress during construction of the Greater New Orleans Bridge; playing touch football together; and of course partying at LSU home games from your married couples apartment. So many fond memories. Our only regret is that we didn't spend more time together in our later years. Our prayers for you and the family as you will surely miss Don, but give thanks that he is now at home with his Heavenly Father. Love,
Sandy & Irwin Senentz
Baton Rouge, Lousiana

GG

November 14, 2016

My deepest sympathy to the Sorgenfrei family for your loss. May you find comfort in the God of all comfort because he cares for you. - 1 Peter 5:6,7

Nicole Lindemuth

November 14, 2016

I was shocked to hear of Don's passing. I have known him now about 20 years and he was one of the kindest most friendly, and southern gentlemanly men I've ever had the pleasures of knowing. I will miss hearing his voice as he called up to the Mechanicsburg Office. I will miss our short and always friendly conversations about football, family and just how things are going. I pray for his family during this time and know that God is sending healing and comfort your way. Thank you for sharing Don with us here at M&M.

Joyce Kirkland

November 14, 2016

Julie, Ruth, Bill, Karen and Ty, my sincere and deepest sympathies on the loss of your husband, father and father-in-law. May your fondest memories remain your heart. God bless you!
Joyce Kirkland

John Unsworth

November 14, 2016

To the family of Don: I am greatly saddened to hear of Don's passing. His legacy as a bridge engineer is second to none. Working with Don was an experience in professionalism and friendship of the highest order. He will be sorely missed by the bridge engineering community but long remembered by those who were fortunate enough to have met and worked with Don.

Mike Romero

November 14, 2016

I will definately miss his ever present smile and kind spirit.

Dedra Childress Leonard

November 12, 2016

In remembrance of a wonderful husband father and I will always consider friend.

FROM THE FAMILY