Howard Solley passed away on June 4, 2021 at home, surrounded by his children and grand-dog, Sadie. Born in London, England, on January 28, 1938, he was the son of the late Ivy Hammond and Albert Solley. Beloved husband of Priscilla, cherished dad of Andrew, Sarah and Andy Benson, and grandad to his much-loved grandson, Jack. He is survived by his ‘bruv’, Robert (predeceased by his sister-in-law, Brenda) and family of Diss, England; brother, Alan and sister-in-law, Pam (and family) of Polzeath, England, loving sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Fidelma and Tim Paine (and family) of Welwyn, England, friends-like-family, Mary and Ty Rimcoski, of Bristol, CT and many other family members and close friends. Howard was predeceased by the love of his life, Priscilla “Cilla”, in October 2016, after 49 years of marriage. In August 1967, a job opportunity brought newlyweds Howard and Cilla to the United States. When they first arrived, Howard and Cilla explored New England in their green Ford Mustang, quickly falling in love with Vermont’s green mountains and Rhode Island’s coastline. They continued travelling the country and the world, with family and friends, throughout their lives. Howard started his career as a ‘Brain Drain’ recruit, along with a few other British aerospace engineers and metallurgists. Over his 33 year career with the Chandler Evans Company, Howard distinguished himself as an undisputed expert in his field, including a reputation for highly-technical and elaborate record keeping systems. His work brought him all over the world, including Israel, one of his favorite destinations. Howard was a longtime, armchair Jeopardy champion and could often answer even the most obscure Final Jeopardy questions. However, despite the love of his work and trivia, Howard’s favorite activities were spent enjoying nature. If Howard’s heart belonged to Cilla, his soul belonged to the peaceful paths of Sessions Woods and New England’s waterways. As an unofficial ‘Mayor of Sessions Woods’, Howard walked in all kinds of weather, almost everyday, for the last 30 years. Howard and Cilla would often walk together, when they were able, and made some meaningful friendships and memories along the way. We like to believe that Howard and Cilla are reunited, walking together in peace, free from pain, and full of love. The family would like to thank VITAS Healthcare caregivers, and in particular, Michelle, for her outstanding care and compassion; Mary, Ty and family, Sessions Woods staff, neighbors, Pat and Mike Kroc, Marie and Jim Parrott (and family), longtime friend, Andy Schaller, Fishing League ‘castmates’, ‘The Last Wednesday of the Month’ lunch group and many other friends, near and far. A celebration of Howard’s life will be held on Thursday, June 24 at 4:00 p.m. at the Sessions Woods Wildlife Management Area, 341 Milford Street, Burlington, CT 06013. Friends may gather, rain or shine, at the covered pavilion, directly behind the nature center. A special thank you to Ryan DuPont of DuPont Funeral Home, Bristol, for his care, kindness and attention of arrangements. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Friends of Sessions Woods (fosw.org) or if one is able and eligible, to make a blood donation with the American Red Cross.
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