Helen Solomon (née Lubitza Sebolic), 89, died peacefully in her sleep on February 19, 2021 in Northbrook, Illinois.
Mrs. Solomon was born July 1, 1931 in Midland, Pennsylvania. Her father, George Sebolic, was a coal miner and World War I veteran who had emigrated from Montenegro to Western Pennsylvania. He died from Black Lung Disease when she was a young girl. Her mother, Emma Pawlack (née Mochnach), had immigrated from present day Slovakia, also to the Pittsburgh area.
Mrs. Solomon grew up in Steubenville, Ohio and graduated from Steubenville High School, where she excelled in her studies.
She was told by one teacher that she would do well in college, but family finances made that impossible, so Mrs. Solomon enrolled in a secretarial program.
In 1949, at age 18, Mrs. Solomon took the train from Pittsburgh to Washington DC, near where her elder sister, Dorothy, lived with her husband, Birdie. With her shorthand and typing skills, Mrs. Solomon quickly found employment, eventually landing a job as secretary to the Director of Human Resources at the Washington Times Herald where the former Jackie Bouvier, who later married John Kennedy, worked as a roving photographer. (Mrs. Solomon, an immaculate and stylish dresser, recounts how one day Ms. Bouvier complimented her on her outfit, which was a coral color.)
Mrs. Solomon liked to dance at the local YWCA in Washington DC, and there she met her future husband, David, a civil engineer with the Federal Highway Administration, whom she married in 1953. Their first date was to Arena Stage in Washington, where they attended plays for their entire 47 years living in the Washington DC area.
In 1957, they moved with their growing family from SE Washington to a new development in Alexandria called Hollin Hills. Then in 1965, the family, now with four children, moved to Bowie, Maryland, where they lived until 1998.
In Bowie, Mrs. Solomon was active in the League of Woman Voters, Hadassah and the Temple Solel sisterhood. During her years in Bowie, she also received an associate in arts and sciences degree from Prince George’s County Community College. Mrs. Solomon followed politics closely and was a lifelong Democrat, although she was very excited to share a photo she had taken with former Vice President Bob Dole, who made an unexpected visit near the Goodwill thrift shop where she volunteered as an extremely accurate cashier each week.
Three years after the death in 1996 of their beloved son, Philip, Mrs. Solomon, at age 68 moved with her husband to the Chicago area, to be near their other three children, their spouses, and their grandchildren. Mrs. Solomon and her husband gamely purchased down coats and ably withstood 20 years of Chicago winters, while others questioned why they had not chosen a warmer clime for retirement. But Mrs. Solomon valued family over all.
For many years she was a volunteer in the gift shop of the Northbrook Public Library, an appropriate job as she was an avid reader. With numerous family and friends, Mrs. Solomon was beloved by every one of them for her kindness and generosity.
In addition to her husband, David, Mrs. Solomon is survived by her son, Dan (Lisa) Solomon, Ruth (Richard) Tupper, and Barry (Luda) Solomon and their 11 grandchildren: Sarah (Tim) Kelley; Sam (Jenn Wong) Solomon; Joyce (Jason Tham) Shimada; Andrew Shimada; Julia Shimada; Ben (Aliza Aufrichtig) Tupper; Lewis Tupper; and Sophia Tupper; Josh (Erika) Solomon; Allie (Steve DiUbaldo) Solomon; Nyx Solomon; two great grandchildren, Ray Shimada-Tham and Natalie Kelley; her sister, Ann Davis, and numerous nieces and nephews. In addition to her son, Phil, she is also predeceased by her grandson, Jonathan Tupper.
In lieu of flowers, if you wish to make a charitable donation in her memory, you may give to: Congregation Sukkat Shalom, 1001 Central Avenue, Wilmette, IL 60091; www.sukkatshalom.org
Interment private. Arrangements entrusted to Evanston Funeral & Cremation, Roland F. Weis director. Info 847 866-8843, condolence and guestbook at evanstonfuneral.com
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