Honoring Tradition.
Celebrating Life.

Edward Solle Jr.

February 3, 1929 - February 17, 2018
Grand Rapids, MI



Wednesday, February 21, 2018
1:00 PM to 2:00 PM EST
La Grave Ave. Christian Reformed Church
107 La Grave Ave SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503


Wednesday, February 21, 2018
2:00 PM EST
La Grave Ave Christian Reformed Church
107 La Grave Ave
Grand Rapids, MI 49503


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Faith Hospice - Trillium Woods
8214 Pfeiffer Farms Dr SW
Byron Center, MI 49315


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

Ball Park Floral
8 Valley Ave.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
(616) 459-3409
Driving Directions
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Life Story / Obituary


Edward Solle Jr. lived a rich and fulfilling life. Never one to remain idle, he held vast interests and generously gave of his time and resources to others in need. A devoted family man, there simply wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do for each and every one of them. He was always focused on achievement and ways he could be a better provider to his family and a better contributor to the community around him. Never settling for less than his best, Edward leaves behind a rich legacy of integrity and success in being truly passionate about life and treating everyone he met with kindness. Edward will be deeply missed and lovingly remembered.

On February 3rd, Edward was welcomed home to loving parents, Edward and Grace (Scholtens) Solle in Evergreen Park, Illinois. Born the tenth out of eleven children, his birth brought much joy and happiness to their home.

Edward’s childhood was filled with a sense of wonder and the typical mischief of a young boy. His father owned and operated his own produce company allowing Edward to learn the value of a hard day’s work at a young age. Edward spent his days helping in the garden, playing in the dirt, and being pulled by a homemade bobsled behind the fruit truck. He was born blind in one eye, and he never let his disability define him. As a student, he excelled in most subjects and proudly graduated from Chicago Christian High School.

Edward had his future set on achievement and education. While attending Calvin College his landlord’s granddaughter, Norma Kalawart, stole his heart from first sight! She would come over to take voice lessons nearby and when he had worked up enough courage to ask her on a date, she accepted, and the rest was history! Soon after graduating from Calvin, Edward was drafted into the United States Army to serve in the Korean War which prompted a quick proposal and wedding ceremony on April 5, 1951. Providentially, Norma was able to move with him to Indianapolis before he was sent to Korea for his eighteen-month tour. During his time in the service, he proudly earned the rank of Corporal and worked at a Mormon Mission teaching English. When he was discharged and relocated to Grand Rapids, Michigan he was grateful to gain employment with the Corduroy Rubber Company, yet he knew instantly that climbing the corporate ladder was not for him! With Norma's encouragement, the ambitious couple started their own insurance agency from their living room! Later, he would join Ley Insurance which eventually merged with the Dave Zylstra Agency. Edward was successful in the business for more than thirty years because of his genuine love of people, his honesty, and salesmanship!

During these same years of hard work and long evenings together, they were building a beautiful family of five children. As a father, he was patient, present, and modeled a strong faith life. Fortunate to have a family business, each of the girls had the opportunity to work with him at the insurance office. His hard work and dedication afforded the family several annual trips to an inland lake in the beautiful northern area of Michigan. In addition to these local trips, he also earned several trips from his sales that he and Norma were able to take advantage of throughout the years. As a family their commitment to their Christian faith was unshakable. He and Norma believed in sharing faith as the foundation of living. The family worshiped together at the Fuller Ave CRC, Beckwith Hills CRC, Sunshine CRC and La Grave CRC (Christian Reformed Church) over the years.

Social by nature, he and Norma treasured any time they were in the company of family and friends. They enjoyed many years of dinner parties and get-togethers. He looked forward to his birthday outings with his daughters and telling his entertaining and often humorous stories to his grandchildren. He was proud of his family and celebrated each of their successes over the years. Edward wanted nothing more than his children and grandchildren to have everything they needed to be successful in life and faith was at the core of his beliefs. They credit him for their steadfast faith and his modeling of service to others over the years has made them more compassionate themselves. Sadly, his battle with cancer ended and took such a bright spirit from his family. Although Edward is now gone, his warm memories and shared stories will live on in the hearts of all who knew and loved him.

Edward Solle Jr., 89, of Grand Rapids, entered his heavenly home on Saturday, February 17, 2018. He was much loved and will be greatly missed by his loving wife, Norma (Kalawart) Solle; his five children, Craig (Margaret) Solle, Michael Solle of Nashville TN, Karen (David) Seitz, Jane (Robert) Bruggink, and Anne-Marie (Jeffrey) Reid; twelve grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren; and his brother-in-law Donald (Virginia) Kalawart . A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, February 21, 2018, at La Grave Avenue Christian Reformed Church at 2:00 PM with visitation one hour before the service. Those who wish may make memorial contributions to Faith Hospice at Trillium Woods or a charity of their choice. To share a memory or sign his guestbook, visit www.lifestorynet.com