Ray 'Neil' Solveson, 92Ray "Neil" Solveson, born Sept. 13, 1920, died Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012, at the Plum City Care Center, with his family at his side.
Ray "Neil" Solveson, born Sept. 13, 1920, died Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012, at the Plum City Care Center, with his family at his side.
Neil, the second child of Ray and Alice Solveson, was born and grew up on the family farm in Union Township, three miles west of Plum City, Wis. He graduated from the (then) River Falls Teacher's College with majors in agriculture and mathematics. After memorizing the eye chart, he joined the Army Air Corps with his brother Keith and served as navigator on the "Lucky Lady," a B-17 bomber during WWII. He flew over 30 combat missions, including D-Day, with the 351st Bombardment Group based in Ridgewell, England. He was then assigned as an instructor at Albuquerque, N.M., where he met Ruth Foltz. After a 6-week courtship, they were married on Dec. 5, 1945, at her parent's home in Wyola, Mont.
Neil and Ruth milked Holsteins and farmed as they raised their five children on 160 acres of good land between Plum City and Ono/Grange Hall. He was a lifelong member of the Ono Methodist Church and a 60-plus year member of American Legion Post 365 in Plum City, Wis.
After Ruth's death in 1991, Neil married Geri Stenerson and continued to live on the farm where he raised a few cattle and some pigs and was always repairing farm equipment and anything that needed fixing. After a severe stroke in 2003, he moved "to town" to live in Plum City.
The Wisconsin Towns Association recognized Neil for 50 years of service, as he served first as treasurer and later as clerk of the Town of Union. Neil was honored for 33 years of service as a director, agent, and treasurer of the Stockholm Town Mutual Insurance Company upon his retirement from the company in 2004.
In addition to his five children, Carol (Bill) Langford, Bobbie Solveson, Mike Solveson, Keith Solveson (Denise), and Peg Solveson, Neil is survived by his sister, Arlene Ebensperger of Plum City; his brother Duane Solveson (Rosie) of Elmwood, Wis.; six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
His parents preceded him in death, as did his older brother, Robert Keith Solveson, who died as a bombardier in WWII, and his wives, Ruth and Geri.
Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31, at the Ono Methodist Church in rural Maiden Rock, with internment at the Ono Cemetery. Rev. Shannon Mattison will officiate. Friends may call 1 hour prior to services at the church on Wednesday.
Memorials may be sent to the Plum City Public Library.
Go to rhielfuneralhome.com to extend online condolences to the family. Rhiel Funeral Home, Durand, Wis., is assisting the family with arrangements.
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