Obituary | Bill Robert Solper
Bill Robert Solper passed away Aug. 16, 2019, with his loving wife of 52 3/4 years at his bedside at Kingman Christian Assisted Living Facility. He died of bone cancer and Lewy body dementia, the same dementia that Robin Williams’ recent brain autopsy discovered.
Bill was born May 22, 1937 to Elmer and Agnes Solper. Bill was an only child and was preceded in death by his parents, his mother being 102 years old at the time of her death. Bill was a father to five children – Mark (Jessica)Kling, Christy (Steve) Zittle, Jeffrey Kling (who preceded him in death), Donna (Neal)Rosenberg and Paula (Alan)Sprecher. He was grandfather to eight grandchildren – Marissa, Lauren, Ryan, Evan, Neal Jr. III, Andrea, Rupa and Aihua. Bill was a rather quiet man, but, when it came to bragging about his intelligent grandchildren, their accomplishments and all the talent they had, it was easy to see the pride and love he had for them. It was with great sadness that circumstances beyond his control, forced him to lose contact with some of them.
Bill, graduated from St. John’s Cathedral High School, then joined the Navy and served his country for 2½ years. After his discharge, he enrolled in barber school, following in his Dad’s footsteps. After 13 years of haircutting, he decided he wanted a more secure profession and became a Motor Vehicle Examiner for the State of Wisconsin for 29 years until his retirement in 1997. His last 10 years he was promoted to Team Leader.
When Bill retired, he had a special, surprise send-off. He once mentioned in jest, that on his final day of work he wanted to get in a limousine, put his head out the sunroof and give his personal, “Farwell.” Well, he got his wish and on his final day, a chauffeur in a limo pulled up in front of the station, and dressed in uniform, including the hat, walked into the Driver Testing Station and announced he was there to pick up Bill Solper. Bill was just coming out of his office carrying his box of personal items and was stunned and shocked when the chauffeur asked, “Are you Bill Solper?” Bill answered quietly, “Yes, I am.” Then the chauffeur said, “I’ll take that box for you, please follow me.” When they got outside, Bill saw the limo and said over and over, “Oh my God. I can’t believe it!!!” All the windows were down on the limo, including the sunroof and a CD was blasting out a song by “Louie Prima.” He was grinning from ear to ear, got in and immediately put his head out the sunroof and you can guess the rest
Bill, really enjoyed playing cards with our dear friends, Rick and Denise, going to the movies, watching the Green Bay Packers games, shooting practice at the gun range, day trips to Laughlin and washing and detailing his car. The car always had a mirror-like finish and appeared newer than what it actually was. He was also known for his “quick-wit”, clever, sense of humor that popped-up unexpectedly, catching you by surprise. He was very knowledgeable when the topics were about history and geography, and the United States wars. When he would start conversing about that, it was as though he was reciting it from an encyclopedia. He also always remembered the old TV westerns and could tell you the names of the horses, names of the cowboys, and the color of their shirts and hats, and their partners.
Bill was a “behind-the-scenes” sort of man and never mentioned all the volunteering he was involved in. He volunteered at the Mohave Museum of History and Arts once a week for three years, he taught the AARP Smart Driving Course for seven years, belonged to the Lions Club and always volunteered for whatever tasks he could do. Upon moving to Valle Vista, he along with others were involved with developing social activities for the community, as well as trying to maintain the overall appearance of Valle Vista. Trimming trees, weed removal, starting a Neighborhood Watch program, Adopting A Highway ( Route 66), Clean up Valle Vista Day, newsletter participation (taking/picking it up at the printer, collating it and delivering it to all the newsletter stations), Activity Committee (setting up for clubhouse events), and being in charge of the Landscaping Project at the front entrance, just to name a few.
Bill’s interment took place Oct. 11 at 2 p.m. at Union Grove Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Wisconsin. He was given a Military Ceremony which included the United States Flag of 13 folds given to his wife, the firing of the 21 volley shots as a salute, playing of Taps, the chaplain playing Amazing Grace with bagpipes, a Bronze Navy Challenge Medallion given to his wife, the presence of the Guards of Honor Detail, the presence of the Color Guard, uniformed service members stood as guards at the chapel entrance. At the end of the service, the chaplain read a most-comforting prayer to the mourners. It was our privilege to honor Bill and he would’ve really appreciated the whole ceremony.
He will be sorely missed by his loving wife, his family and friends and we will all miss his presence and the influence he had on our lives. We love you, Bill, and please save a place for us, when we meet again.
Arrangements were placed in the care of Mohave Memorial Funeral & Cremation Services. Thoughts and condolences can be sent to the Solper family at Mohavememorial.com
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone, Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone, Silence the pianos and with muffled drum Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come. Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead Scribbling on the sky the message 'He is Dead'. Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves, Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves. He was my North, my South, my East and West, My working week and my Sunday rest, My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song; I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong. The stars are not wanted now; put out every one, Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun, Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood; For nothing now can ever come to any good.