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1969 Michelle 2023

Michelle Poel

July 8, 1969 — September 17, 2023


Michelle "Shelly" Marie Poel- Sorenson left us to be at peace with God on September 17, 2023. She passed in Newcastle, Wyoming of complications from her long hard battle with Multiple Sclerosis. 

Shelly was born July 8, 1969, in Ortonville City, Minnesota to Lorna Jean Pansch and Robert "Bob" Alan Poel. Shelly spent her first years in South Dakota where she was joined by her brother Scott. The family moved to Gillette in the early 1970's where they made their home. 

Shelly attended Campbell County High School where she made so many of her life long friends. Shelly then attended college in Powell. She then returned to Gillette where she worked at the News Record. This is where she met Charles Sorenson, her loving husband. They married on November 25, 1989. They then went on to have their only child McKenna Katherine Sorenson on January 16, 1992. 

Shelly went on to have a long career at the Campbell County School District. She started as a secretary at the high school and was promoted first to the "head shed" where she did data analysis and scheduling. She then worked at Lakeway for many years doing the schedules for most of the county. She loved Excel and was brilliant in so many ways. She had every student's student ID memorized and could memorize anything. This came in handy when she was playing black jack and trivia. Over her years at the school, she made many friends. She loved her time there, and loved the work that she did. She took pride in every moment she was able to help the children of the county achieve academic and social success. She was even named employee of the year. 

Shelly's drive for education extended to her daughter. Shelly pushed her daughter to excel in school. She sent her daughter to camps around the country through junior high and high school to prepare her for college, and make sure that she had all the educational opportunities the world had to offer. She was so active in all of her daughters' extracurricular activities, especially debate. She was beyond proud that her daughter became an accountant, MBA, and most recently a lawyer. 

Shelly had such wit, and could tell stories that would get a room full of strangers to laugh. Shelly fought Multiple Sclerosis for over 20 years, but you could always see McKenna, Charles, and Shelly laughing together. Through all of their hospital stays and all of the treatments the three of them laughed more together than they could have ever thought about crying. Shelly was so strong and fought a very valiant battle with her illness. She was the strongest person and went through so much, but always had a story to share, and a positive attitude even faced with such a terrible disease. 

Shelly loved to listen to music. She loved art. She was excellent at so many things that it hard to name a few, but she truly was a talented woman in many respects. She showed this in her creativity and intelligence. 

Shelly spent her last years at Weston County Manor. She extended her loving nature to those at the home and made many friends with residents and staff alike. She truly loved the people who took care of her in her final days, and for that we are forever grateful. 

We would like to thank all of those who were so caring to Shelly. As this disease ravaged her body she lost so much but she never lost her wit. She taught us how to fight on, and how to be strong. She was an excellent role model, a wonderful mother, and devoted wife. Anyone who knew Charles and Shelly knows how much he did for her. He truly went above and beyond in his care for her. 

Shelly is survived by husband Charles Sorenson, her daughter McKenna Sorenson (Geoff Porras), mother Lorna Poel, and brother Scott Poel. She is also survived by her large extended family, including many nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles and many cousins. She is predeceased by her father Bob Poel, Aunts Pat, Carol, Alma, and Mary, and Uncle Bobby, along with her grandparents, as well as many friends and family throughout the years. 

A service will be held at First Presbyterian Church in Gillette, Wyoming on September 21, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. with burial following at Mount Pisgah. Fellowship will be held back at the church following burial. A viewing will be held at Gillette Memorial Chapel  September 20, 2023 from 4-6. 

Memorial donations can be made to the National Multiple Sclerosis Foundation 6520 North Andrews Ave Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309-2132. We want to thank everyone who ever took care of Shelly, this includes all of the doctors and nursing staff over the years. This extends especially to the nursing home in Newcastle who took such great care of my mother. You were truly loved by her, and by us. We would also like to thank all of those in our community who have shown us such care and love over the years. Those who were there for us during all of this are so appreciated and loved.

If you know anyone afflicted by MS or any other neurological disease, we ask that you give them the love, grace, and support that they need and deserve while they deal with such difficulties this includes their families. As we have walked this horrendous path, we can truly say a kind word or a thoughtful action means the world .  Memorials and condolences may be sent in care of Gillette Memorial Chapel 210 West 5th Street, Gillette, WY 82716.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Michelle Poel, please visit our flower store.
Poel card.pdf

Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, September 20, 2023

4:00 - 6:00 pm (Mountain time)

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Funeral Service

Thursday, September 21, 2023

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Mountain time)

First Presbyterian Church- Gillette

511 Carey Ave, Gillette, WY 82716


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