Albert Zelig (AZ) Soforenko was born on May 5, 1931, to Dr. Charles Soforenko and Genevieve Fox Soforenko in Boston, Massachusetts.
He received his B.S. from the University of Rhode Island in 1954, his M.S. from the University of Connecticut in 1960, and his Ph.D. as a John F. Kennedy Fellow from The Ohio State University.
After holding faculty appointments at The Ohio State University and the University of Wisconsin, AZ held key positions in several state Departments of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities. These included Connecticut, Wisconsin, and Ohio. In 1985 he became the Founder and President of Occazio, Inc. in New Castle, Indiana, serving the residential needs of developmentally disabled persons. He also served on national boards of several professional organizations serving the needs of disabled persons and was a Fellow Emeritus of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
AZ traveled extensively as a consultant to many organizations and governmental agencies serving the needs of the disabled, including a consultancy to the Ministry of Education of the State of Israel. He also consulted with the U.S. Public Health Service in the development of media to recruit mental health professionals.
AZ was very active in the Boy Scouts of America and received the Silver Beaver Award for exemplary services to scouting youth. He was a member of the Sun Prairie, Wisconsin Masonic Lodge as well as the Scottish Rite Lodge of the Valley of Columbus and the Aladdin Shrine in Grove City, Ohio. He served on several boards in Muncie, Indiana, including the Isanogel Center, the Board of Trustees at Temple Beth El, and the Board of the Animal Rescue Fund. He was also a member of the Rotary, Lions, and Toastmasters Clubs.
AZ worked with the developmentally disabled for over 50 years. A warm person with a kind heart, he was driven by his passion for providing better lives for that group of people.
He is survived by his loving family and friends, including his wife of over 66 years, Evelyn, (Fishers, Indiana), son David and wife Pam (Suffolk, Virginia), daughter Cheryl and husband Mitchell (College Station, Texas), son Randal and wife Kay (Fishers, Indiana), daughter Deborah (Fishers, Indiana), and daughter Sara (Grove City, Ohio), grandchildren Melissa, Jennifer, Heather, Rosalyn, Erika, Benjamin, Luke, Tyler, Aaron, and Ryan, and 11 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister-in-law Karen (Myrtle Beach, South Carolina). He was preceded in death by his father Charles, his mother Genevieve, and his brother Irwin.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Animal Rescue Fund (ARF) of Muncie, Indiana at www.munciearf.com