OCEAN CITY — An Ocean City legend, known best for extreme generosity in the community she loved so much, Eunice Q. Sorin, passed away last Saturday, April 16 at her home in Berlin at the age of 87.
Sorin, whose name adorns the Greater Ocean City Chamber of Commerce Building and Atlantic General Hospital’s Women’s Diagnostic Center, began her career modestly as a teenager working in the summer tourist industry in the resort and soon embarked on a career in cosmetology that saw her reach the pinnacle in that field. Not long after opening her own salon in Ocean City, she met and married the love of her life, the late Herman Sorin, and the couple began a decades-long career of property ownership and management in the resort.
The Sorins started with the President Apartments in 1954 and later built the Nassau Motel at the foot of the later Route 90 Bridge. Over the years, Sorin earned a reputation for her seemingly endless generosity and charitable giving in the resort area. She rarely missed an opportunity to give back to the community and was a member of countless associations and organizations throughout the Ocean City-Berlin area.
In 2006, she was named Ocean City Citizen of the Year based on her generosity and long-standing contributions to the community. In 2009, the Greater Ocean City Chamber of Commerce dedicated its new facility in West Ocean City to Sorin and her name adorns the building. The chamber also created an annual scholarship in her name.
Her grandson, Jay Phillips, who eulogized Sorin at her funeral services on Wednesday, said this week she will be remembered for her generosity and her passion for life.
“She was an energetic lady that was hard to contain,” he said. “A lot of people said they wished they could bottle her energy.”
Phillips said his grandmother’s legacy will be her contributions to the local community.
“She lived a remarkable life of giving, sharing and caring,” he said. “She will be missed, but never forgotten. She was a true icon and pillar of the community.”
Her generosity and strong business acumen rubbed off on most she came into contact with, including many in the resort’s business community.
For example, Park Place Jewelers owner Todd Ferrante met Sorin and her late husband as a young teenager when they hired him to work at their former Nassau Motel. He said this week the impressions Sorin and her husband made on him as a young man carried over to his adult life.
“They showed a confidence in me that was very important at that time,” he said. “What I remember most about Eunice at that time was she always demanded a lot of attention. I remember that from when I first started working for her.”
Ferrante said he realized her attention to detail even then, a trait she retained until her passing.
“She was very meticulous about the grounds at the Nassau, and I always remember the guys saying ‘we have to get everything straight before Mrs. Eunice gets here,’” he said. “That’s one side to her, but she was also always so kind and lent an ear to listen. Eunice would always let you know how she felt. I consider myself very fortunate to have worked for them at such a young age and it’s something I value to this day.”
Ferrante said the lesson he learned and cherished from Sorin was the necessity to help the community and those less fortunate.
“What I take from her, above everything else, and she did this throughout her life, was to give back,” he said. “Before she was so generous giving monetarily, she gave a lot of her time and Eunice always wanted people to give back. She felt that was very important to the community and she embodied that. It wasn’t just about the money, she would do anything she could to help people and I know of so many examples of that generous spirit. That was her nature. Even when she wasn’t doing well of late, she was still thinking of others.”
Senator Jim Mathias this week fondly recalled Sorin for her charitable giving, her remarkable business sense and her zest for life.
“She was so kind and generous, and she was always the life of the party,” he said. “She was a great inspiration to the community, and a great businesswoman.”
Mathias said while Sorin often gave without much fanfare, she was almost always in the forefront of community events.
“When I turned 50, there was a party for me at Seacrets and Eunice was there with the late Mayor Burbage of Berlin,” he said. “Whatever heaven is, I’m sure they’re both up there now planning a big party.”
Mayor Rick Meehan said Phillips’ eulogy on Wednesday was short and to the point, just the way his grandmother would have wanted it.
“Eunice was one of a kind,” he said. “At her service yesterday, her grandson Jay described her in a single, lengthy sentence filled with adjectives, because she would have wanted him to be brief.”
Meehan reiterated some of the sentiments thought and spoken during her services this week.
“She was tremendously generous, a great businesswoman, warm, friendly, one of a kind, and certainly spoke her mind,” he said. “While everyone in attendance was sad at her passing, most were smiling. She will be sincerely missed, but certainly never forgotten.”