Earl Leroy Solmonson, 82, died Jan. 3, 2017, in New Port Richey, Fla., surrounded by his family.
Leroy was born in Lyons, Ohio, on Sept. 6, 1934, the son of the late Earl and Nellie (Sallows) Solmonson. He made his home in Adrian, Mich. and later in New Port Richey, Fla.
Leroy graduated from Morenci High School where he was recognized as an outstanding athlete. He played four years on Morenci’s undefeated football team with a 48-game winning streak and was named to the All-County team. He was also a standout in basketball and finished as the second leading scorer in Lenawee County.
Upon graduation, Leroy served in the United States Navy and fulfilled his duties on the U.S.S. Borie during the Korean War. After his honorable discharge, he married his sweetheart, Nancy (Roulier) and they were married 58 years.
Leroy started his career at Acme Paint Company prior to opening his own business, Adrian Paint & Supply, later known as the Décor Center, that was part of the Lenawee County community for more than 40 years. He also owned and worked his own farm where he raised his children to understand and appreciate hard work and commitment.
Leroy was a highly-regarded member of the community and served on St. Mary’s Parrish Council and the Madison Board of Education. He was active in the YMCA and the Republican Party and was a member of the American Legion.
Leroy and Nancy retired to New Port Richey in 2001 to continue following their grandchildren’s activities.
Leroy lived a life of service and generosity and was always willing to volunteer, donate, and help his community and those in need. He was also an avid sports fan who loved watching his children and grandchildren play sports and participate in other events.
Known as “Earl the Pearl” to many of his friends and children’s friends, he was proud of his service to his country and was very proud of his family. He was a beloved role model and hero to his children and grandchildren.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by children Michael (and Wendy) Solmonson, Kenneth Solmonson (and Kelley Camp), and Melissa (and Steve) Hill; six grandchildren, Derek Solmonson, Amy Gartee, Zack Solmonson, Jayme Hill, Alex Hill and Nickolas Hill; one great-grandson, Braylon Gartee; a brother, Robert (and Annette) Solmonson; a sister, Evelyn Maurer; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his sister, Leona Mae Bullock, and his parents.
Leroy will be laid to rest at Bushnell National Cemetery in Bushnell, Fla., at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 12. A Celebration of Life is scheduled at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 14, at Gulf Harbors Beach.
Memorial donations are suggested to the Alzheimer’s Association http://m.alz.org/donate.asp or HPH Hospice http://www.hph-hospice.org/donations-special-gifts.