Long-time supporter of LOJHS honored with memorial fund

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO: JAKE MAHAR - Martin Lopez plays football for Lake Oswego Junior High School.A long-time supporter of the Lake Oswego Junior High School athletics department died recently, and the community is rallying around his widow and stepson.

Jake and Alissa Mahar founded The Lee Sorrelhorse Memorial Fund at OnPoint Community Credit Union to honor the 57-year-old and support his wife, Angelina Sorrelhorse, and her son, Martin Lopez. Martin, an eighth-grader at Lake Oswego Junior High, is a running and defensive back in football and a guard in basketball.

Jake Mahar coached Martin in football and basketball, and his son also played the same sports as Martin.

“Lee was never on board with the winning at all costs mentality,” he said. “It was all about the best experience for kids.”

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO BY JAKE MAHAR - Lee Sorrelhorse sits in the stands watching one of his son's games last fall.Though he didn’t shake pom-poms, Mahar said his friend was a human pom-pom, going to every practice and game and cheering not only for Martin but also his teammates. No matter the score at the end of a game, Sorrelhorse always greeted each player with a grin and a high-five.

He was the financial and emotional anchor of his wife and son, Jake Mahar said. Martin’s biological father is not in the picture, and the nearest family members live two hours away.

Angelina Sorrelhorse, a cash control clerk at Portland Community College, said her husband raised Martin since he was a baby and called him son, not stepson. She intends to change her son’s name from the one he was born with to Sorrelhorse.

“He was such a huge support to our son,” she said.

She plans to use donations to support Martin’s athletics and college education. His tuition would be waived as the son of an employee if he enrolls at the community college.

Angelina Sorrelhorse said she now will be on the sidelines of Martin’s games just as her husband used to be.

Lake Oswego Junior High School Principal Ann Gerson said Martin’s father had strong community ties.

“It’s a real loss to all of the kids who knew him and that he supported — and especially to Martin,” she said.

Lee Sorrelhorse helped build low-income housing as an employee with the Native American Youth and Family Center in Portland and, through a previous job, constructed low-income housing in the Warm Springs reservation. He was a member of the Cheyenne Tribe, and his wife is a member of the Warm Springs Tribe.

He is survived by Martin, eight adult children, 19 grandchildren and a great-grandchild. Hundreds of people attended his funeral services in Portland and Warm Springs.

“There was not even standing room” at the Portland service, Jake Mahar said. “There were literally people standing outside the door that were listening to the service.”

Sorrelhorse died of a heart attack after dancing in the traditional men’s category of the Nisqually Powwow in Nisqually, Wash., on March 23. Attendees, including his wife, administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation but did not revive him.

“He danced his last dance,” she said.

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