WEST HOMESTEAD —
Michael Solomon of West Homestead passed away peacefully at his home on Easter Sunday, April 20, 2014, at the age of 87. He was surrounded by his wife and family.
Born in Canonsburg on Nov. 3, 1926, to Syrian immigrants, Mike was the second of four children of Kattas and Nijme Moussa Solomon.
Immediately upon graduating from Canonsburg High School in June of 1944, Mike enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps and became a machinist servicing B-17s and B-25s. By the time he was sent overseas, World War II had ended and he served in the postwar Occupation Force, attending the proceedings at the Nuremberg War Trials.
Returning to the states, Mike began a lifelong career in finance with Mellon Bank, first as a teller, then as branch manager of the Claysville, Munhall, Homestead, New Kensington and East Liberty offices. He delayed retirement by serving as Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) officer at Mellon’s Pittsburgh headquarters in the mid 1990s.
On Oct. 17, 1953, Mike married Mary Leon, the love of his life. They raised their four children in the Steel Valley community of West Homestead: Timothy, an ordained Presbyterian minister now serving as pastor of Emmanuel Community Church in Meadville and as Protestant campus minister at Penn State, The Behrend College in Erie; Amy, a businesswoman in California; Mary Beth (husband David Wilson), a market research consultant in Jersey City, N.J.; and Michael (wife Maureen), a professional drummer/percussionist in California. In addition to being a devoted father to his children, Mike dearly loved his four grandchildren, Rachel, David and Eva Solomon, and Michael Solomon Leopold.
A faithful member of Homestead United Presbyterian Church since moving to the Steel Valley in 1959, Mike served continuously as an elder and trustee over the decades. Always community-minded, Mike served on the boards of Homestead Hospital, Jefferson Regional Medical Center and Steel Valley Arts Council, and co-founded Mon Valley Initiative (MVI) and Homestead Economic Revitalization Corporation (HERC). In earlier years, he was an active member of Kiwanis and later served on the Steel Valley School Board for 16 years. A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh’s MBA program, Mike also took post-graduate studies at Rutgers University’s Stonier Graduate School of Banking.
Mike was an avid reader, always keeping abreast of political issues of national and international scope. He also enjoyed working crossword puzzles, playing checkers with his 6-year-old grandson, Michael, and traveling domestically and abroad, including to his parents’ village in Syria. Most of all, Mike found meaning in doing his job and talking with people from all stations in life. Exercising an economy of words, a warm humor and an insightful mind, he was often sought out for his wisdom in matters both practical and eternal.
Cherished by his wife, family, church and community, Mike Solomon will be deeply missed by all who knew him. He is survived by a sister, Rebecca Gladden of McDonald; a brother, Edward Solomon of Canonsburg; and many nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his parents; a brother, Fred; and his beloved nephew, Michael Solomon, and niece, Mary Agnes Solomon.
Memorial donations may be made to Homestead United Presbyterian Church (homesteadupc.org) and/or the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (adc.org).
Arrangements are in the care of George Irvin Green Funeral Home, Munhall, where visitation will take place on Wednesday from 7 to 9 p.m. and Thursday from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m.
The funeral service will take place on Friday at 10:30 a.m. at Homestead United Presbyterian Church (Ninth and Ann streets), including military honors, with a luncheon to follow. Please everyone meet at church.