TRAVERSE CITY — Jack Edward Solomonson passed from this life June 29, 2013, surrounded by his family after a day-long sharing of “Jack” stories, laughter and tears.
He is survived by his wife, Violet (married almost 65 years); daughters, Mary Jo (Dana) Lance, Barbara Solomonson (Jan Doran) and Kristina McLain; grandchildren, Jeffery Jerrett, Jenafer (Greg) Gokey, Meagan McLain (Al Koglin) and Nick McLain; great-grandchildren, Jeffery Robert, Jason and Jaxon Jerrett, Gretchen Kingsley and Jacob Gokey; one great-great-granddaughter, June Jerrett; and bonus grandchildren, Eric and Kaleena Slade and Abigail Daniels.
Jack was preceded in death by his parents, Harry and Lorna Solomonson; sister, Doris Wyckoff; and brother, Richard “Zeke” Solomonson.
Jack was born in Holland, Mich., on Feb. 25, 1926, and lived in Elk Rapids for a few years before moving to Traverse City.
He was an multi sport letterman at Central High School.
Jack was in the U.S. Navy during World War II and was stationed in the Philippines. He served as a Communications Specialist, ECM coding machine and radio operator and teletype repair. He loved Morse Code.
In 1949 Jack and Vi moved to Mapleton for a “temporary part time job” at the Peninsula Telephone Company, which he operated with Vi for 62 years. Jack loved electronics and anything new. He prided himself in providing state of the art service for his subscribers and keeping one step ahead of the local competition by leading the area in providing dial service, Internet and cellular service. Jack was instrumental in bringing cellular service to the region in the 1980s. Jack always accepted invitations to explain the workings of the telephone to the school children.
Jack was active in the “Peninsula” community and a leader in several organizations. He coached grade school football at Old Mission School and St. Joe’s high school boys basketball.