John F. Solon
John Francis Solon, age 72, Kadoka, S.D., died on Tuesday, March 22, 2016, at his ranch near Kadoka.
John Solon, better known as “Soley,” had always lived on the family ranch six miles south of Weta, except for brief stints teaching school and serving Uncle Sam.
John Francis Solon was born Nov. 29, 1943, in Kadoka, the son of Francis and Clara (Schulz) Solon. As a child, John whiled away many hours by a wood-burning stove, drawing cattle and horses. Through the years his drawings evolved to record humorous, mundane and near-disastrous incidents involving friends, neighbors and livestock.
John attended Weta rural school through the eighth grade and spent his high school years in Kadoka, graduating in 1962. He attended Black Hills State College graduating in 1966, with bachelor of science degree, majoring in English. He taught school in Gerlach, Nev., for a short time before being drafted into the U.S. Army.
In 1968, John completed his training at Ft. Lewis, Wash., and was later stationed at Ft. Gordon, Ga. After his father’s sudden death, John was honorably discharged from the Army, and returned to the ranch where he assumed its day to day operations. His helpmate on the ranch was Carol “Blanchie,” his wife of 46 years.
He was united in marriage to Carol Jacobs on Nov. 29, 1969, in Batesland. Together they reared two sons, Sage and Patrick, while tending to the Herefords. Then they had the added enjoyment of six grandchildren.
John was always willing to help a neighbor at a moment’s notice, and they were always willing to help him. He always thought ranching couldn’t be done without good neighbors.
John had a photographic memory, and could recollect from years gone by. He enjoyed talking politics, and watching FOX News, college basketball, baseball and football. In his younger years, John enjoyed playing softball in the summer. He loved to draw and tell stories of the events he would see at the different ranch activities he attended. John always wanted to make sure you had been fed and had the proper footwear on, and you were warm enough, while you were at the ranch. He loved having any and all his friends drive down to the ranch to visit.
Survivors include his wife, Carol, Kadoka; two sons, Sage Solon and his wife, Tammy, North Platte, Neb., and Patrick Solon and his wife, Heather, Kadoka; six grandchildren, Andrew and Aiden Solon and Shaina, Savannah, River and Ridge Solon; five sisters, Eleanor Solon, O.S.B., Rapid City, Mary Ann Lewis, Wasta, Helen Pfeifer, Philip, Gen O'Callaghan, David City, Neb., and Winnie Bell and her husband, Doug, Fountain Valley, Calif.; several nieces and nephews; and a host of other relatives and friends.
John was preceded in death by his parents, Francis and Clara Solon.
Memorial services were held Tuesday, March 29, at the Kadoka City Auditorium, with Cory Hill officiating.
Ushers were Cap and Michael Herber, Jerry Baldwin and Bill Dwyer. Pallbearers were Kenneth Raymond, Nels Crowser, Jim and John Herber, Charlie O’Callahan, Jim Gibson, River Solon and Henry Ireland.
Honorary pallbearers were Bernard Herber, Irwin Ferguson, Barry Barber, W.O. Weller, Cleve Prichard, Terry O’Callahan, John’s branding crew and all family and friends who called, visited or helped out at various times.
Memorials may be directed to grandson Aiden's cancer treatment expenses.
Arrangements were with the Rush Funeral Chapel of Kadoka.