PRINCETON — Eugene E. Solon Sr., 81, 550 E. Dover Road, Princeton, formerly of Degrasse, N.Y., passed away peacefully on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012, surrounded by his children.
He was born Feb. 4, 1930, in Pitcairn, N.Y., the son of Walter Patrick and Beatrice Mae LayBoult Solon. He married Mary Jane Tyler on July 22, 1951, at the Harrisville Baptist Church.
Eugene attended school through the sixth grade and then later received his high school diploma in 1976 from Canton Central High School. Eugene worked for Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp. in Star Lake, N.Y., and later transferred to LTV Steel Corporation in Hennepin, where he retired in 1988 after 35-plus years of service. He then went on to fulfill his life-long dream when he and his wife began Solon’s Concessions, which he operated until his death. Eugene loved the food cart business and was well known in central Illinois as the “Elephant Ear Man”. He also enjoyed playing poker, especially Texas Hold ‘Em, with his family and friends, hunting, fishing and traveling back to New York in his motorhome each spring and fall.
He is survived by his children, Eugene Jr. and Diane of Fort Worth, Texas, Deborah and Kenneth Reed of Antwerp, N.Y., Randy and Kathleen of Vernon, N.Y., and Susan Solon of St. Joseph, Mich. He is also survived by nine grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren; a special friend and caregiver, Mike Watson; and his loyal dog, Clyde.
Along with his loving wife, Mary, of 60 years, Eugene was preceded in death by his parents; nine brothers, Gerald, Martin, Walter, William, Forrest, Lewis, Maurice, Lawrence and George; six sisters, Mildred Goodale, Rita Perrault, Margaret Spicer, Nettie Solon, Louise Stacey and Hazel Solon; and one daughter-in-law, Mary Lou Solon.
A graveside service will be at 11:30 a.m. Friday in Pitcairn Cemetery with Father Robert Decker officiating. A calling hour will be from 10 to 11 a.m. Friday at the Adirondack Funeral Home in Harrisville, N.Y. Messages of sympathy may be left at www.adirondackfh.com.
The family would like to extend a special thanks to Dr. Martin Faber and the staff at Perry Memorial Hospital for their kindness and compassion. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations be made to Perry Memorial Hospital, 530 Park Ave. East, Princeton, IL 61356.