Jim Sollers, 78, a longtime resident of Culp Creek, died August 20, 2021, at Sacred Heart Hospital at Riverbend just five days after developing COVID 19 symptoms. His was a breakthrough infection after visiting a local bar where a fellow patron proclaimed he was not vaccinated,despite a persistent cough.
Born the son of James Rogers and Catherine Sollers on September 23, 1942, in Cambridge MD, Jim was raised near Easton, MD, attended The Country School and graduated from St. Michael’s High School.
The first in his family to venture West, he served in the Navy as a radarman on a destroyer off the coast of Vietnam in the early 60’s. After returning home for several years, he re-enlisted, this time in the Coast Guard.
Jim was based on both coasts but spent much of his time on numerous Arctic and Antarctic patrols in support of various scientific and humanitarian expeditions. He was aboard during the maiden voyage of the Coast Guard heavy icebreaker & fleet flagship ‘Polar Star’ in 1976.
After retiring in 1979, Jim moved first to Seattle, and then to Cottage Grove, in search of the rural tranquility of a small town surrounded by fields and forests of the Cascades.
A passionate tinkerer, he was constantly adapting thrift shop finds to new and imaginative uses.
He loved the area’s tolerance for characters, of which he was one, and the variety of small business owners, farmers, and retirees he knew and admired. For years his favorite companions on daily strolls and swims along the Row River were his beloved dogs, Bear and Flossie.
Jim is survived by two sisters and their families: Deborah and John Fialka of Denver, their children Wren and Joseph Fialka and Benjamin Barnett, their wives, Kari Knutson and Halle Barnett, and two great nieces Ann Marie & Claire Fialka. Also, sister Catherine and Art Wintermyer of Cheverly, MD, their children and spouses, niece Caitlin and Jerard Lecato, his great nephew Kyree Lecato, and nephew Duncan Wintermyer and Rachel Riggs.
A burial at Middleham Chapel, Lusby, MD, among many generations of his family will be held at a future date. In lieu of flowers, please send your remembrances to [email protected], or make a donation in his memory at spreadlovebygiving.org, a 501c3 charity founded by his niece Wren to serve homeless and displaced persons across the West.