May 23, 1946 – January 11, 2016
I would like to share with you a little about the life of Yasmine Sorensen, a dear, beautiful soul who slipped away from us unexpectedly and joined the Beloved on January 11, 2016. If you were one of the fortunate ones, you got to know her before she passed into the unseen realms. She was in a beautiful inner state leading up to her death, filled with much gratitude and love.
Yasmine Cheryl was born in San Carlos, California, to William Klose, an electrical contractor, and Madelaine Beard Klose, a nurse. While still a young child Cheryl moved with her family to ranchland near Auburn, California. On the ranch she learned to love animals, a love that continued for the rest of her life, and especially included cats and Siberian Huskies. Her first exposure to Alaska was on a trip with her parents in 1962. It was “Alaska love” at first sight. She vowed to return to Alaska after she failed to convince her parents to stay.
After attending Chico State University, she worked as a school teacher in California until the late 1970s, when she first fulfilled her vow to come back to Alaska. In 1985 she settled in Sitka, Alaska, building a home with her mother and working for University of Alaska Southeast. After completing a Master’s degree in Library Studies at University of Hawaii, Yasmine was employed as director of public libraries in Seward and Nome. In 2001 she landed the job she dreamed of, Director at the Sitka Public Library. She worked there until retirement, in 2009. She had a 23-year marriage to her “soul mate,” Denton Pearson. She is survived by her daughter Alia Carter, son-in-law Nicholas Carter and grandson Aidan Carter, currently of Reykjavik, Iceland. Yasmine’s ashes were scattered on the waters of Sitka Sound in accordance with her wishes.
Yasmine was an intrepid traveler and a lover of myriad types of adventures. She always brought at least one book wherever she roamed, and usually many more. A good read, a visit with friends, a well-told joke, laughter, and a glass of good wine made a fulfilling evening for Yasmine. She adored the Sitka Summer Music Festival and even after she moved away from Sitka she continued to return in June to attend the concerts with friends.
Yasmine started her love affair with Sufi studies after the turn of the millennium, although she was already well attuned to the spiritual life. She had a near-death experience as a young woman, and knew from that time on that life continued beyond this current incarnation. She was an active member of the Sitka Unitarian Fellowship for many years, and in 2003 she began regularly attending the Ocean of Love Meditation Circle in Sitka. She described the friendships she developed in the Circle as life changing. In 2010, in Albuquerque, NM, she and others from the Ocean of Love Center attended a retreat with Pir Zia, and she happily received initiation into the Inayati Order. In 2013, she received a blessing and her new name from Taj Inayat, at a very special group retreat in Sitka.
In 2014, after a drawn-out but eventually amicable divorce, Yasmine moved south to be in the sunshine of Tucson, Arizona. She choose Tucson specifically so she could be warm and continue her Sufi studies. She loved her time studying with friends of the Tucson Sufi Center for the Message, with Puran and Suzanna Bair of the Institute of Applied Meditation, and drumming with the Peace Chamber group of Tucson.
Yasmine was a cancer survivor, and although she suffered with numerous health issues, she remained positive and deeply full of faith throughout her days on earth. We’d like to think of her flying off to the bright heavenly stars and blue perfection with another intrepid traveler – David Bowie, who also took his leave from earth just one day before her.
Yasmine, you are dearly loved, and your sweet smile, enduring friendship, bright mind, and loving heart, will always be remembered.
Auriella Hughes, Ocean of Love Center, Sitka, Alaska