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Peter Michael Sorini, M.D., 56

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Peter M. Sorini, 56, the great adventurer, took his final journey on February 8, 2016 at 7:48 p.m. surrounded by his loving family and friends after an extremely courageous and long-fought battle with a glioblastoma multiforme brain tumor.

Peter was born in Butte, Montana on March 9, 1959, to Ernest P. Sorini and Martha R. Sorini.

He attended local schools and graduated from Butte High School in 1977. He attended Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he graduated with a degree in Latin and Philosophy. His college roommate encouraged him to apply to medical school and he was accepted at the Medical College of Wisconsin where he graduated Cum Laude in 1985. He went to Phoenix, Arizona for his internship and was asked to join the Neurosurgery Residency Program where he worked under Dr. Robert Spetzler. Dr. Spetzler was a mentor and provided inspiration for Pete’s life work as a neurosurgeon. Decades afterward, Peter would return to Dr. Spetzler, this time as a patient. Dr. Spetzler performed a complicated surgery that gave us the best gift of all -- time.

While in Phoenix, Pete met Stephanie Carpenter, his best friend, love of his life, and soul mate. Just like a fairy tale, they fell deeply in love and married on June 30, 1990. Their love and joy were boundless and will extend past the confines of this life.

Peter and Stephanie moved to Buffalo, New York where he worked under two more mentors, Drs. Nick Hopkins and Jim Budny. They taught Peter so much more than neurosurgery. He completed his neurosurgery residency at State University of New York at Buffalo. After completing his residency in June of 1994, Pete joined St. John's Hospital in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. But Peter’s heart never left Montana. He joined Kalispell Regional Medical Center in August of 1995. The couple's joy of life was compounded when daughter Gia was born in 1998.

In 1998, Pete received a call from Dr. Pius Baggenstos, who had recently been diagnosed with cancer, asking Peter to consider relocating to Butte to practice neurosurgery. Without hesitation, they packed up their home and businesses and moved to Butte for yet another adventure. They couldn't have been happier to be closer to family and to become a part of their amazing community. Pete worked at St. James Healthcare and eventually moved his practice to Community Hospital of Anaconda where he was recently honored with a new surgical suite named after him.

While in Butte, the blessings of family increased with the birth of daughters Marietta in 1999 and Bella in 2001.

He served on the Board of Directors for Glacier Bank and Community Hospital of Anaconda and national boards and was a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, Congress of Neurological Surgeons, American Medical Society, North American Spine Society, Rocky Mountain Spine Society, and the Montana Medical Society.

Pete embodied the concept of larger than life and many things set him apart from others. He was an Eagle Scout and earned Order of the Arrow status while in Troop 10. It was here that he and his fellow scouts encountered many adventures and remained lifelong friends. These years truly melded him into the man he was during these years thanks to all the things that he was taught by his scoutmaster and fellow scouts. This training set the foundation for the next 25 years as he served in the United States Army Reserves, where he earned the rank of Colonel and recently was honored with the Meritorious Service Award. He was a member of the 4225th U.S. Army Hospital in Helena, Montana. He was honored to serve during Operation Enduring Freedom with several deployments to Germany and Iraq. He volunteered for a mission with the University of Miami and provided medical services in Haiti after their earthquake in 2010.

He inherited a passion for reading and expanded knowledge from his mother. His inquisitive nature lead him to a continuing pursuit of wisdom. He was a voracious reader whose interests spanned innumerable topics. He never lost the desire to be a scholar and as testament to his commitment to lifelong learning, he earned his Master's in Health Care Administration from Auburn University in May of 2013. In addition to his degree, Pete gained yet another cohort of close friends.

His skill as a medical practitioner transcended mere surgical competence. He felt deeply the sufferings of those he cared for. Peter never considered a patient to be a single person; he cared for their entire family. That care often extended past the confines of an office. He was always, always available. The needs of his patients took precedence over planned travel or social obligations. House calls were the norm for him. His medical knowledge was legion and he had a remarkable ability to offer precise medical advice to anyone who needed it. He was a selfless man. He somehow had the ability to extend a 24-hour day to make sure the needs of others were met.

While Pete took the practice of medicine seriously, he never took himself seriously. He had a playful disposition that came through in every aspect of his life. One of his enduring traits was a complex sense of humor. His stories became legends that delighted his audience no matter how many times they were told. He was a big kid at heart and delighted in making life fun. He could also be a serious conversationalist. He could speak knowledgeably about any subject. Lack of direct knowledge never stopped him from sagely contributing to a conversation. He could seamlessly slip into the mode of complete gibberish and somehow make it believable.

Pete loved life in so many ways, but there was no greater pleasure and joy than his family. He enjoyed skiing with his girls, hiking along the Continental Divide Trail, biking, boating, playing basketball, and everything in between. He loved traveling with family and friends and routinely turned a trip into “the best one ever,” complete with tales of hilarious mishaps encountered along the way. His special trips with the girls gave him time to rest, relax, have fun, and create some amazing memories.

It’s hard to adequately capture the difference he made in so many lives. He never met anyone he didn’t like and genuinely opened his heart to each and every person he met. He was incredibly humble and never forgot where he came from. He was a hero who inspired heroism in others. Just knowing him made you want to be a better person.

He was preceded in death by his father, Ernest P. Sorini and his father-in-law, Kelly Carpenter.

He is survived by his wife, Stephanie and their daughters Giavanna Mary Santina, Marietta Rose, and Isabella Sue; mother, Martha; brother, Ernie, his wife, Kelly and their children, Christopher, Alexander, Katherine, Peter and Andrew; Ernie's children, Adam, Jon and his wife, Katy; his sister, Mary Sorini, and sister, Linda and her husband, Glen Granger and their children, Peter and Kaydee; mother-in-law, Sue Carpenter; and sister-in-law, Cheryl Carpenter and her son, Dylan. He is also survived by numerous aunts and cousins. He is also survived by his other "families" -- Members of Troop 10, Community Hospital of Anaconda, the Ski West Bash Guys, his military brothers and sisters and his Auburn classmates. He also leaves behind an untold number of heroes who eased the family's burdens and provided comfort during Peter's final days.

The transition to illness and his eventual passage from this world provided a life lesson about grace. There was never any bitterness, rather just the quiet reflection about the ironies of life and the ability to bear them.

Peter, it is time for you to rest, read a book and enjoy a great cigar. Thank you for leaving this world a better place than you found it.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 1 p.m. Monday, February 15, at the Butte Civic Center with visitation beginning at 11 a.m. A reception will be held at the Butte Civic Center following Mass. Interment will be at a later date.

In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to continue the legacy of Peter's giving spirit to Believe Sorini Strong Foundation Inc., P.O. Box 3417, Butte, Montana 59702.

The family would love to read your memories about Peter -- how he touched your life or a funny story that you shared with him. There will be a basket at the ceremony where you can place your memories, or if you prefer, please send your story to believesorinistrong@gmail.com. For our family and friends that cannot attend the service, it will be streamed live at www.butteciviccenter.com on Monday, February 15, at 11 a.m. MST.

Express condolences at www.mtstandard.com.

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