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Obituaries

Kathleen S. Solomon

03/21/1949 - 12/27/2019

Obituary for Kathleen S. Solomon

Kathleen Sue Solomon, 70, of Toledo, OH passed away Friday December 27, 2019.
Date of Birth: 03/21/1949
Place: Toledo, Ohio
Father: John Walter Adamski
Mother: Dorothy Isabell Strohm
Spouse: Married & Divorced twice: Lester Reed & N.Gary Solomon
Children: Richard Reed, Heather Solomon
Preceded in Death by Parents
& Siblings: Ronald, Thomas, Dorothy, Mary & Shirley
& several nieces & nephews
Occupation: Mother and Homemaker, Graphic Artist & Sign Painter

On December 27th, 2019, around 9 PM, Kathleen Solomon (Kat) left this world for the next. It was sudden and came as surprise to myself and my father. He was with her at home when she shed her mortal coil. He said she called for him and when he came, she appeared to be asleep. She has gone to sleep to awake unto glory. Death is not a pleasant or desirable thing, but to die at home, with some dignity and a loved one by your side is perhaps the best ending one can have in this world. She had a myriad of problems that could have landed her in a hospital or a nursing home, and I thank God she avoided either in her final moments.

I. Heather M. Solomon, will do my best to condense 70 years into a few short paragraphs that can in no way do justice to her or the life she lived. I know she went to Rodger's Highschool. I know she had a best friend named Henrietta who she got into trouble with, I know she had a crush on a young man named Thomas Shrewsbery, who died at 20 years of age. She kept his obituary and a picture of him in her purse, as a memorial. She was twice married and divorced , first to Lester Reed, for whom she had kept herself a virgin til marriage, and from whom she had a son – Richard Reed, who is 13 years older than I am. She dropped out of high-school in her sophomore year. She loved dance and music and eventually moved into the Souwicky apartments where she met my biological mother and my Dad. She was originally a baby sitter for my half sister Missy, but eventually became my Mom in every way that has or ever will matter. We looked enough alike that we would sometimes joke “It's not genetic, it's generic.”

She loved flowers, and I still remember getting a dandelion from the yard and bringing it to her. She told me that it's going to die, now that I've plucked it, and I felt bad for having done so and never got her any flowers for years after – at least not like that. I used to get her a flat of flowers to plant every Mother's Day and I remember buying her Stargazer Lilies which were her favorite a time or two. She was very happy for my brother, Rick, when he was working at Ken's Flower shop. Getting to do all sorts of arrangements with flowers she'd always wanted to do but never did. When she was unable to garden directly, we bought hanging plants she could admire outside her window.

Mom was my first teacher, before I ever set foot in a classroom. She taught me to read and write, shapes, colors and even my own name in cursive. When I was older, she was still my teacher, when I was in home school at the end of the third grade, and from Jr, High- getting my GED. I'm still learning things from her and owe my sense of color coordination to her. She had also voluntarily taught special needs children math when her son, Rick, was in elementary school.

Music was always part of our family. My dad and cousin Jean (her niece) sang together as the Wildwood Trio. I only ever heard them perform at home, and I loved listening to them sing. I went to bed listening to music, and I remember a power-outage where Mom and Dad came to sing Pooh Corner to me. She didn't think she had a very good voice, but I knew better. She sang less and less as the years went by, but I will treasure every note I can recall. She sang a song “Turn Around” for me a few years ago, something sure to draw tears for the foreseeable future when I listen to the music once more.

My brother was in local Theater and we often got tickets to his performances over the years – Annie, How to Succeed in Business, Brigadoon, Jeckyl and Hyde, and the last performance of his we saw as a family was Les Miserables in 2014. I know she loved watching him perform and would point out when he'd posted a clip from what he was in on his Facebook page in the years following.

She also had a deep love of animals. Though her name was Kathleen she never went by that, she was sometimes called “Aunt Kathy”, but to anyone who knew her as a friend, she was Kat. Kat was probably a very fitting name, one Dad and I have often likened her to. She could be fickle, stubborn, frustrating, mysterious, loving, sensitive, a good judge of character and more. Cats weren't the only animals she liked. She told me of a time when she had a room full of aquariums filled with all kind of wondrous fish, or that time she got mail order seahorses that her parents accidentally killed. The first pet I can remember was a black Netherland Dwarf rabbit named Toby, and I know she and Dad did 99% of his care. We kept on having rabbits until I eventually got a hamster – Mom liked him too. Then we started getting cats. Our first was a fluffy gray kitty named Purrcey, and Mom was the one who rescued her from the shelter that day. I said “No, no, we're not getting a long haired cat!” she hissed at us and despite my protests, we were on our way home with this fickle, stubborn cat (sounds familiar!). It was in February this year that Purrcey died after 18 years. She mellowed out in her twilight and they say that animals often emulate their owners. I think Mom and Purrcey were a lot alike sometimes and I know she grieved over that cat.

I have grown up with computers and video games and feel confident navigating them, I feel it's intuitive to a lot of folks these days. Mom, like many people, was set in her ways. It was hard to teach her new things, but we eventually did bring computers into our lives in the 90s and Dad and I tried helping her as much as we could. Way back on AOL, she joined up with some lists for sharing graphics (Wallpapers and tags mostly, something to personalize an email or put on your desktop) and even a prayer group or two. Through that, and the few social games I managed to spark her interest in (Like Farmville on Facebook and Animal Crossing for the Wii) she made and maintained a few friendships. She was my first gaming partner, and through the heyday of the NES and SNES, we bonded over video games. Though we started with things like Mario Bros, we also played RPGs together – I would be her tactical adviser and she would do most of the playing. Sometimes we would read the dialogue out loud to sometimes hilarious effects. As she got older, she developed arthritis in her hands and it became more difficult to play games which required fast reflexes. For this reason, she stuck with RPGs and casual games like Animal Crossing. The game is a social one where you can make friends, plant flowers, build a town, buy a house, do your hair – it's a silly fun little game with no bad guys and no goals but what you set for yourself. It's probably the game she sank the most hours into, and I mention it because of both the social aspects (I and others would play with her in the game via online services) but also because of the gardening. She never had a particularly green thumb, but Animal Crossing allowed her to garden. It did more than that, and she and my Father made and maintained a town for years that I've only recently gotten to see the outcome of. It wasn't the only game she played, but she made friends through it, I played with her on it, Dad played with her on it. She made a memorial garden to a fallen friend, and I have made one for her in turn. She never really did learn the finer points of owning a smart phone, but what we shared with her wound up being shared with others.

Kat struggled with weight problems for most of her life. In the early 2000s, she lost around 90 pounds and was under 200 for the first time in ages. That may have been the healthiest she'd ever been and during that time we were able to go biking, walking, went on zoo trips and swimming. In the years since, she had lost her drive to lose and maintain her weight. Regaining more than what she lost didn't happen over night, and we all of us knew that her obesity came with a price tag. Diabetes runs in her family, and though she never had to take insulin, she did have that. She also developed neuropathy in her feet which caused pain in her feet whenever she stood or walked. There were a myriad of problems she had, none of them life threatening. We always encouraged her to lose weight, siting that she wouldn't have to take as many or as much medication as she did, and how much better it would be for her pain levels and her mobility. It is truly sad watching someone you love decline, no matter how gently it happens. She had a very big heart, the one thing she wasn't worried about, but was likely the very thing that gave out in the end.

2020, we were going to get serious about dieting. I personally had hoped to see her lose weight just so that she could have less pain and be able to get around the house more easily. She doesn't have to go into a nursing home and she isn't in pain anymore. She was a believer in Jesus Christ as personal savior; for how many years I know not. I know she had a Catholic upbringing, but I think her moment of revelation was when she realized that she didn't have to go to any Priest to talk to Jesus, she could just pray directly to Him. We prayed together as a family many nights, and she and my Dad continued to even when I wasn't there. We had one last Thanksgiving and one last Christmas together as a family, and one day we will be together as eternal family.

My Dad (Gary) said this regarding my Mom, “Kat and I were married for 15 years, and is the only mother Heather has ever known. We were friends for nearly 40 years, and are eternally bound in the love of God through salvation by the grace of God through faith in our Lord and Saviour (and glorious Creator) Jesus Christ. Although we miss her dearly, we're confident that we'll be reunited with her in glory one day."

The chapters of her life have come to an end, but the book is still being written in. If you have any memories of my Mom, feel free to share them. Hers was a generally quiet and well-lived life and those quiet virtues often go overlooked. God does not overlook those in his care and His "Lamb's Book of Life" will outlast this one, and all others. God bless you forever, Mom

Funeral arrangements were entrusted with Habegger Funeral Services.

Habegger Funeral Services is humbled and honored to assist The Solomon family. We invite you to share a fond memory or condolence by visiting www.habeggerfuneralservices.com

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Condolences

Kat had a big heart and a wonderful sense of humor. I think she was the original Cat Lady. See you in heaven "Tootsie"
- Bridget
I miss playing ACCF with Kat and can’t wait to see her again in heaven.
- Karen OGrady
It's comforting to know that she's in heaven and that we'll see her again someday. You're in our hearts and prayers.
- Beverly

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