Richard Solka

Resided in Gladstone, MI
Died December 26, 2012

Gladstone, MI
Ret. Michigan State Police Trooper Richard “Dick” Brian Solka Sr. , age 69, of Gladstone, passed away on Wednesday, December 26, 2012 at his home as the result of a long battle with cancer.

Dick was born October 5, 1943 in Ishpeming, Michigan, the son of Harold and Helen (Christian) Solka. Dick graduated from Ishpeming High School in 1961 and upon graduation attended Northern Michigan University from 1961 to May of 1964. During the summers of 1961 through 1963 he also enjoyed working as a park ranger at the Straits State Park. He was employed with CCI at the Pioneer Pellet Plant in 1964 through December 1966 when he enlisted in the Michigan State Police. After graduation from the 65th Recruit School in Lansing in February 1967, he was assigned to the Brighton Post in lower Michigan where he worked until he was assigned to the Gladstone Post in June of 1969. He worked there until February of 1977 at which time he was transferred to a special duty assignment at the Detroit Freeway Post where he worked until Febraury of 1978. He then returned to the Gladstone Post where he remained until his retirement in 1992. While serving at the Gladstone Post, he was a Post Community Services Officer where he was responsible for coordinating and implementing programs involving youth and the presentation of crime prevention programs to businesses and other groups.

Following retirement, Dick worked for the City of Escanaba Recreation Department as assistant Harbor Master and at the Butler Building ice rink at the fairgrounds, where he enjoyed being a zamboni operator. He was active in various organizations including the Michigan State Police Troopers Association, the Michigan Fraternal Order of Police, former member of the Gladstone Golf Club and Yacht Club, former member of Central United Methodist Church , assistant coach for the Gladstone and Escanaba Little Leagues, assisted with youth hockey, was a driver examiner for the State of Michigan and was a former member of the Gladstone Jaycee’s where he served on the parade committee which was instrumental in establishing the Gladstone 4th of July celebration we now enjoy.

Dick will be greatly missed by his family and many friends.

Dick is survived by his wife, Susan J. (Harwood) Solka of Gladstone; children, Linda Claire (Liz Bryan) Solka of Minneapolis, MN, Pamela (Bill) Pfeifer of Alpena, MI, Richard Solka Jr. of Escanaba, MI, Sean Depuydt of Gladstone, MI, Melodie (Dan) Boling of Mount Pleasant, MI, Holly (Paul) Peoples of Gladstone, MI and Michael (Mindy) Harwood of Raleigh, NC; grandchildren, Andrew, Dylan and Kelsey MacNeill, Mitchell Pfeifer, Claire Bryan and Jiri Solka; 7 step granchildren; two brothers, Bruce (Fran) Solka of Chicago, IL and Honorable Judge Thomas (Liz) Solka of Marquette, MI; two sisters, Christine (Jim) House of Crystal Falls, MI and Lois Piskorz of Kissimmee, FL; numerous nieces and nephews and his former wife Linda Solka of Escanaba, MI.

He was preceded in death by his parents and first wife, Susan M. Solka.

The family would like to thank Dick’s caregiver, Brittany Davis and Marquette General Hospice for their kind and compassionate care.

The family will receive friends on Sunday, December 30 from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM at the Skradski Funeral Home in Gladstone. Funeral services will follow at 3:00 PM at the funeral home with Pastor Louis Hague officiating. A luncheon will be served following services at the Gladstone Yacht Club. Memorial contributions in Dick’s name may be directed to the Salvation Army.

32 Tributes for “Richard Solka

    Sue,Our deepest sympathies to you and your family. The little we knew Dick, we knew he was a great person. Remember all the great times you had with each other.

    I was very saddened to hear of Richard’s passing. I’ve known him since grade school. He was my biology lab partner in high school in addition to being in my driver training class. My sincere sympathy to his family.

    I was deeply saddened to read of the passing of Dick Solka. He was a classmate and friend growing up in Ishpeming. I remember him for his quiet demeanor and pleasant personality. My condolences to his family.

    So sorry to hear of Dick Solka’s passing. Dick was a neighbor and a classmate at both Ishpeming High School and NMU.
    We often car-pooled back and forth to NMU. Dick was a good
    athlete and the kind of guy that everyone liked. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.

    Dick was a great “big brother” who will be dearly missed by his siblings Bruce, Christine, Tom and Lois. Once we were 5 and now we’re 4, but forever comforted by our memories of a wonderful brother.

    I’m the “baby” of us 5 kids. Dick also held a special place in my heart. I always felt his concern and love for me his little sister. I will miss you so much.

    It was my pleasure to know Dick for the last 3 yrs. We shared the common enemy of cancer and as he was a support for me so I tried to be a support to him until the end.

    I was deeply saddened to learn of Dick’s death. It was my privilege to work with Dick at the Detroit Freeway Post. I always enjoyed working and having an occasional beer with Dick. May God bless Susan and family during this difficult time and always.

    I just want to say how sorry I am for your loss. My thoughts and prayers go out to all the family. Dick was always a special friend to my family. My parents and all my family thought so highly of him. He was a thoughtful and caring and family orientated man and he will be truly missed. Hoping you can be comforted in knowing he is celebrating with our Savior and is no longer in pain. God Bless

    Sincere condolences to Sue and to Dick’s family. Dick was an old friend, and I am sad to hear of his passing. What a great guy, full of fun and a pleasure to have known.

    My dad was and is the most wonderful man I will ever know. He is truly my hero. Always, always there for me. I know that he loved us so much as we loved him tremendously. I will forever be greatful that God gave us such a special Daddy.

    Dick is fondly remembered by me as one of the neighborhood gang. He grew up across the street from me in Ishpeming. Love and condolences to the family.

    Linda: I will always remember having dinner with your dad at the Mall of America. He made me laugh. He was a great guy. You were lucky to have him as a dad and he was lucky to have you as his daughter. My condolences to you and your family.

    We shall always remember Dick for his great sense of humor and his long fight. Through it all he remained calm and was still making the jokes he is so known for. A great man who will be greatly missed by all.

    Sue and family…..Ron and I were so saddened to hear of Dick’s passing. such a wonderful, funny man – he will truly missed by many. rely on your wonderful memories to get you through the dark days. With love and deepest sympathy,

    Please accept my condolences on the passing of Dick. He was a great teammate, classmate, and friend during those great school years in Ishpeming. He will be missed.

    I grew up with Dick in Ishpeming. He was easy going but strong, fast and tough. Dick was a great athlete. I was the only one to see him come down an icy track at Baby Lake Ski Jump and nail five jumps to the bottom one day after school. He was probably too modest to mention it to anyone.My deepest sympathy to all of Dick’s family.

    My sympathies to Dick’s family. Roger, Bruce, Dick, and I often camped at Champion Beach as high school kids. Had many memorable moments. Sorry to hear about his passing.

    My sympathies to Dick’s family. Roger, Bruce, Dick, and I often camped at Champion Beach as high school kids. Had many memorable moments. Sorry to hear about his passing.

    I served with Dick at the Brighton Post. Please know my thoughts and prayers are with Dick’s family and his many friends.

    I am so sorry for your loss. I only knew Dick for a short time, however Sue, listening to you talking about him, I know he was a fine man and will be missed very much. My heart is full of sympathy for you and your entire family. Much love!

    Our condolences go out to you, Sue, and all of Dick’s family. Our younger daughter had him for her driving test and she said he was patient and calm with her which made it easier for her. May he rest in peace.

    As the oldest sibling, I knew Dick for his entire life. In looking over these Memory Tributes, I feel we truly appreciate everyone’s remarks because,overall, they capture much of the spirit that we knew in Dick. Thank you.

    Norman and Peter Johnson wish to extend their Christian sympathy to Dick’s family. Norman and Peter remember Dick and his brothers as well as cousin Dan Christian from playing football in the neighborhood. Peter remembers Dick as they were members of the same cub scout pack.

    Our bond forever has been strongI’ve known this all my life long
    Forever in my heart you will be
    I know now from your pain
    You’ve been set free

    Your little sister

    Dick was a good friend. we had many fine memories working together down @ the marina & civ,. having a quick cup of coffee @ wal-mart. and moaning about the Lions. the grumpy ‘ole man had a heart of gold, great humor, i will miss him good bye my friend—

    Growing up in Gladstone, I fondly remember Dick as a caring and friendly Michigan State Police Trooper. He and others at the Post were instrumental in my becoming a trooper. It is with sadness that I extend my condolences to all in his family.

    I did not know Richard that well. However, as a good friend of his brother, Tom, I know that Richard was held in high regard by all that knew him. Tom was very proud of his big brother. Thank you Richard Solka for making our community safe.Hon. Peter L. Plummer, Administrative Law Judge
    Lansing Michigan

    Linda I will never forget how our father’s supported us at Gogebic. We are what we are because of them. I Will always love you. I am so sorry about your dad. I hope to hear from you

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