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Charles G. Solar

July 31, 2020

Charles G. SolarCharles G. Solar, 98, passed away at his home in Clayton Friday evening, July 31, 2020.

He was born in Clayton on May 24, 1922, son of John E. and Ida May (Orvis) Solar, Sr. and he graduated from Clayton High School in 1941. On October 31, 1942 he entered the US Army, serving with the 825th Engineer Aviation Battalion. Charles received the European African Middle Eastern Service, Good Conduct, and World War II Victory Medals and was honorably discharged on December 31, 1945 as a Corporal.

On September 28, 1947 he married Gertrude M. Riches at the Alexandria Bay Methodist Church with Rev. Lisle B. Caldwell officiating. Mrs. Solar died on April 27, 2019.

Before his service to his country, he was a truck driver for Cowers Motor Express. After his service Charles was a pick up and delivery driver for NY Central Railway Express and then in 1960 worked for Lou Leonard Plumbing and Heating.

Charles loved his native village. In 1965 he began working for the village of Clayton. He retired in 1984 as the Superintendent of the Village of Clayton Department of Public Works. He had served as the town constable, as a village trustee for seven years, and was the village crossing guard after his retirement until June 2011. He also was on the Clayton Cemetery board for many years. Charles was honored to be the first Citizen of the Year in Clayton in 1970 and in 2011, he was named honorary dock master in recognition of his dedicated and outstanding service to the Clayton community.

Charles served in the Clayton Fire Department since April 7, 1941. He served as president, vice president and chief.

He was a member and past trustee of the Clayton United Methodist Church. Charles was a member of Clayton American Legion Colon-Couch Post 821 and was an Independent Order of Odd Fellows Lodge 328 member since 1941. He enjoyed gardening and wood working.

Charles is survived by his two sons, William C. Solar, Clayton and Robert G. and Sandy Solar, Sr., Lovingston, VA; seven grandchildren, Brian and Pam Solar, William II and Beth Solar all of Clayton, Kristi Bice of Watertown, Erin Solar and companion, Barry Morgan of Altoona, PA, David Solar of Lovingston, VA, Robert Jr. and Sarah Solar of Schuyler, VA; Mikey and Bekah Solar, MA, eleven great-grandchildren Dylan and Kassidy Bice, Kristen, Katelyn, Lexi, Cooper, Gretchen, Edwin, and Franklin Solar, Trevor and Chayse Harkinson; and numerous nieces and nephews.

In addition to his loving wife, he was predeceased by his daughter-in-law Cheryl Solar, his four brothers, Walter H., Wallace A., Richard L., and John E. Jr., and his three sisters, Annette D. Badour, Rose Johnston, and Mabel Solar.

Calling hours for Charles will be held at the Clayton Fire Department, 855 Graves St., Clayton on Saturday, August 8, from noon to 4:00 PM. Masks and social distancing are required. The funeral service will be at the fire department on Sunday, August 9, at 1:00 PM with Pastor Earl LaLone, Clayton United Methodist Church, presiding followed by burial in Clayton Cemetery. Arrangements are entrusted with Cummings Funeral Service, Inc., Clayton and online condolences to his family may be posted at www.cummingsfuneral.com. In lieu of flowers, donations in Charles' name may be made to the Clayton Cemetery Association, c/o Bruce Cerow, 221 John St., Clayton, NY 13624.


#29 Charles Stage 2020-08-09 12:17
My respects to the family. For many years my Franklin St. neighbors. Charlie is Clayton history. He will always be remembered. GOD Bless the family. TY Charlie for everything you were. The village is the better for your presence here.
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#28 Linda LaLonde 2020-08-08 12:28
Charlie was a special person. When Charlie became a friend, you had a very kind, thoughtful friend for life. He will be missed and fondly remembered. My thoughts are with Bill, Bob and all their families.
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#27 mary green 2020-08-08 11:19
We are very sorry for your loss.god bless you all... he is with Gert now.grinnng from ear to ear.

Marshall and Mary
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#26 Diane Reff Morinigo 2020-08-06 08:33
To the Solar families,
My condolences to the family. All the good memories will get you through this sad time. Charlie had a long and good life. Sorry for your loss.
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#25 Mike Wallace 2020-08-04 21:38
My deepest sympathy to the Solar family and the Clayton Fire Department for their loss.
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#24 Polly Anne Newton 2020-08-04 18:04
My deepest condolences to the entire Solar family and the Clayton Fire Dpartment. I guess you could say that Charlie lived life to the fullest. (thats an understatement) I know that he especially loved Jake, my son. Charlie once told me when he was a crossing guard,that he felt Jake was special. Not like other kids that he had crossed. As soon as Jake was old enough,he joined the department. When there was a grandparents day breakfast at school,we asked Charlie if he could be my daughters "grandpa". He accepted. This man had a heart of gold and was dearly loved by us. Rest in peace Charlie. We'll all miss you.
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#23 Jim Rhinebeck 2020-08-04 16:10
Only fond memories of Charlie when I was in the Fire dept, and selling tickets to annual firemen’s ball with him and others, great man and a CLAYTON icon. God bless Charlie and family.
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#22 Mary E. Patch 2020-08-04 12:15
I am so sorry, Charlie was the best . when your Dad {Bob Meeks was blasting in the village him and Charlie had a lot of laughs... he will be miss in Clayton for sure...
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#21 Dena Leavery Meanor 2020-08-04 10:06
Uncle Charlie continues to be a cherished member of our family. I loved to listen to the stories he would tell me about growing up with his brother, Walter, my grandfather. He will me missed by so many people.
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#20 Leonard and Debra 2020-08-04 09:10
So sorry for your loss. From what I have heard from Bob and Sandy it sounds like he was a very special man. I’m sorry I never got to meet him. Prayers for strength, comfort and peace for the family. May you feel the presense of God during this difficult time.
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