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Kenneth Laverne Solomon, age 75, of Greenville, formerly of Phoenix, Arizona, succumbed to lung disease on Thursday afternoon, June 2, 2005 at his home. The son of Clarence & Nataline (Scribner) Solomon, he was born on July 16, 1929 in Jackson. Raised on his familys farm in Byron Center, Ken was a Golden Gloves champion and later a professional boxer. A graduate of Bowens Navigational Academy in Baltimore, Maryland, Ken served during the Korean War as an officer in the Merchant Marines aboard tankers and remained active throughout his life as a ships pilot and navigation officer on the Earths oceans and Great Lakes.

On February 6, 1960, in Phoenix, Arizona, he married Lois Ann Drage. In Phoenix, Ken had a variety of business interests including ownership of several cocktail lounges, insurance agencies, and commercial properties. He served as a business sponsor of Casa de Angles (a home for terminally ill children) in addition to sitting on the board of directors of Seventh Step, and being a major fund raiser for the United Way. In Greenville, Ken had owned and operated Family Motors, a used car dealership in Greenvilles Northtown, and recently retired from Greenville Community Bank. He enjoyed woodworking, building furniture, and golfing. Although Ken was a life long fan of boxing, in his quiet moments at home and on the seas he preferred to write poetry.

Surviving are his wife of 44 years, Lois Ann Solomon of Greenville; a son, Robert Solomon of Chicago; a daughter, Denise Carroll-Kilkellen; one grandson, Ryan Carroll, both of Phoenix, Arizona; six sisters and their spouses, Marylou Schwartz, Imogene Mooney, Jeanette Schwartz, all of Wayland, Beverly Marritt of Byron Center, Janet Westfahl of Hopkins, and Judy Padilla of San Diego, California; and several nieces and nephews.

As requested, a private celebration of his life will be held graveside at Elmwood Cemetery in Wayland. In lieu of flowers or memorial contributions, Ken asked that you simply cherish and embrace your memories of him. When you think of me, smile. Ive done it all. Ive had it all. Ive needed this rest.


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