Claes Soren Holmberg, 84, died peacefully at home on 8 February 2022.
Soren was a true connoisseur of the quiet corners of dark bars, celebrities, live music, power snoozes, spy novels, and loud parties. If you were among the lucky ones to meet Soren, you must have walked away believing the rumors that Soren was the original source of inspiration for the World’s Most Interesting Man ad campaign.
Being an immigrant from Sweden was paramount for Soren. He held great care and pride in educating and explaining all the Swedish nuance: the red color of Dalahast, the meaning of Fika, or the story behind the three crowns. He proudly flew the Swedish flag, enjoyed the opportunity to speak Swedish whenever the opportunity arose, and became unusually suffocated when presented with something essential Swedish. He loved it all.
Although Soren studied at the Universities of Iowa and Minnesota, earned a degree from Rockford University and a law degree from the University of Toledo, his allegiance was with Ohio State University Buckeyes, perhaps largely influenced by his lifelong law school friend Bob Ward (Naples, FL).
A lesser known fact is Soren’s role as a pioneer in viral image. As a volunteer translator at the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki, 14-year-old Soren, wearing a blazer and squeezing a camera, was recorded in the background of a very famous photograph in which Emil Zátopek turns a corner to the Helsinki Olympic Stadium. This image was shared internationally to spread the news that Zátopek had shockedly won his favorite, then British world record holder Jim Peter. (Link to the Olympic image online – https://theculturetrip.com/europe/finland/articles/olympic-heroes-emil-zatopeks-triple-gold/)
Soren was also ahead of his time in terms of telecommuting, and he did a considerable amount of preparation, research, and law about his car, the dining room stool, customers ’living rooms, and courtrooms. Soren loved the law and was passionate about truth, honesty, and honoring commitments. Soren’s clientele and the diversity of cases during his more than 49-year career corresponded to acceptable payment methods, which included – but were not limited to – frozen perch, refrigerator, neon bar signs, and an occasional check.
Many will miss Soren, celebrate and quote it – most notably his daughter Kristin (Steve) of DiNolfo Naperville, IL; son Eric (Valerie) of Akron, OH; his three grandchildren, Emily, Matthew, and Noah; his sister Lil Elisabeth Holmberg (Myrtle Beach, SC); and long-term main compression, Sharon Lange. His death was preceded by his father Claes Holmberg; and his mother Ethel (Ullmanan) Holmberg.
Instead of flowers, those willing to donate in memory of Soren can make a gift charity chosen by the donor.
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Published by The Blade on February 13, 2022.