Vernon Lee Solze died Sunday September 18, 2022, at his home in Garden
City, Kansas. He was born June 16, 1932,in Garden City, Kansas, the son
of Ned Godfrey and Mattie Irene (Sturdevant) Solze.
Vernon was a lifetime resident of Garden City. He was enlisted in the United States Navy from January 25, 1951 until July 31, 1954. During his time in the Navy, he was stationed in San Diego, Hawaii, Japan, Korea, The Marshall Islands, Iwo Jima, Kodiak, Alaska, and off the coast of Manchuria on the Yalu River. His medals and decorations included the Korean Service Ribbon (three stars), United Nations Service Ribbon, the National Defense Service Ribbon and the Navy Occupation Service Medal (ASISA). He was presented a Quilt of Valor on July 2019 in recognition of his sacrifice and service.
After returning from the Navy, Vernon graduated from Garden City Community College and attended Fort Hays State University. He married Wilma Kay Fenton in Garden City on January 26, 1956. His employment included 18 years at Santa Fe Trucking as a clerk and later 25 years at Fidelity/Commerce Bank in various positions until he retired in the position of Compliance Officer in 1999.
He was a history buff, and lifetime Honorary Board Member of the Finney County Historical Society. He was very proud of the fact that his grandfather, A.M. Sturdevant, his father Ned Solze, and son-in-law James Hahn were all long time Sextons for Garden City cemeteries. He and his son Eric, along with the ATT Pioneers were instrumental in the planning and construction of the Fore Father's of Garden City Memorial located at Valley View Cemetery Office. His hobbies included woodworking, coaching baseball, storytelling, and tending to his garden.
In addition to his wife-Wilma Kay of the home, he is survived by his children-Terri L. & James Hahn of Garden City, Eric L. & Judy Solze of Manhattan, Kansas, Jackie L. & Tim Joyce of Garden City, Becky L. Sandoval of Garden City & Aaron L Solze of Garden City; grandchildren-Jason Hahn, Dr. Joshua Hahn, DVM & wife Krista Hahn, Neil Solze, Kayla (Josh Griffin) Joyce, Kyle (Trista) Joyce, Madelyn (Cole Trent) Sandoval, Mallory Sandoval, Leah Solze & Devin Solze; grand dog- Luna; great grandchildren- Jeremiah Hahn, Karah Hahn, Jennah Hahn, Kalyn Hahn, Elizabeth Joyce, Benjamin Joyce, Ashlyn Griffin, Ayden Griffin, Ava Griffin, & Amayah Griffin; sister- Donelda (Jerry) Lalicker & nieces & nephews- Tammy (Ed) Reith, Steve (Carol) Lalicker, Kelli Livermore, Shelli Lalicker, Sherri (Mike) Barbo, Kevin (Cindy) Fenton, Shawna (Mike) Lemon, Deana (Tim) Novack, Troy (Denise) Fenton, Janet Smaltz & Sandy Parker.
Visitation will be held 12:00-8:00 pm Friday September 23, 2022, at Garnand Funeral Home of Garden City. A Funeral Service will be held 2:00 pm Saturday September 24, 2022, also at Garnand Funeral Home with Pastor Steve Ensz Officiating and broadcast live via the Garnand Facebook Page. Burial will follow with graveside military honors conducted by the United States Navy and the America Legion District #8 Honor Guards.
The family suggests memorials to the Finney County Historical Society or St Catherine Hospice both in care of Garnand Funeral Home, 412 N 7th Street, Garden City, KS. 67846