Laurie Nan Soroka, a lover of animals, antiques, and Jewish studies, died at home in East Quogue on Nov. 27 of complications of a spinal cord injury. She was 61 and had recently moved there after having lived in Sag Harbor for many years. She injured her spine about 12 years ago.
“I always considered myself part of the ‘crazy mom club’ — in a good way,” Ms. Soroka’s daughter Kate Anna Soroka of Sag Harbor said. “I don’t think I would have done well with a normal mom.” Her mother, she remembered, “brought me to Pennsylvania when I was 16 to get my first tattoo.”
Ms. Soroka was born in Union, N.J., on Feb. 6, 1952, to Albert Cassak and the former Dorothy Reinke. She grew up in New Jersey. She attended Beaver College — now known as Arcadia University — in Glenside, Pa., Drew University in Madison, N.J., where she earned a liberal arts degree, and Hebrew Union College in New York City, where she studied Jewish education.
She married Frederick J. Soroka, a chiropractor with a practice in East Hampton, on Thanksgiving Day in 1977. The marriage ended in divorce.
Ms. Soroka worked for her family’s publishing business. After moving to the South Fork in 1992, she served as a Hebrew school teacher at the Jewish Center of the Hamptons in East Hampton.
She was also a familiar face at the Hampton Classic Horse Show in Bridgehampton, where she oversaw the children’s tent from 1993 to 2003, improving it by adding educational exhibits and programs. She ran the show’s annual Kids Day and the boutique garden, as well as working in ad sales.
Kate Soroka is the Hampton Classic’s assistant site manager. Ms. Soroka’s other daughter, Elizabeth Soroka of Sag Harbor, serves as its event coordinator. “For sure, she’s the reason I have the life that I have — a horse show career, traveling internationally,” Elizabeth Soroka said of her mother. “People loved coming to our house, that’s for sure — dogs, llamas, birds, goats, chickens, miniature horse, and donkey. . . .”
Along with her daughters, Ms. Soroka is survived by her twin brothers, David Cassak of Chatham, N.J., and Lance Cassak of Morristown, N.J. She leaves behind a beloved Jack Russell terrier, Daisy, her family said.
A funeral service was held on Dec. 5 at the Jewish Center of the Hamptons, Cantor Debra Stein officiating. Memorial contributions have been suggested to Paws 4 a Cure, which provides financial assistance for canine and feline owners who cannot afford veterinary care, at P.O. Box 1821, Wakefield, Mass. 01880, and online at paws4acure.org.