Josephine Solmon, known to friends and family as Jo, was born in Springfield, Mass. and lived most of her life in Tiverton, RI, Fall River and Somerset. Born Josephine E. Grindle, her mother Gladys (Alley) Grindle died when Jo was five years old. She and her older sisters, Celia and Evelyn, were raised in Tiverton mostly by her grandmother, Edith Alley. Jo’s father, Leon Grindle, was a chief engineer in the merchant marine and could be at sea for months at a time. Jo had an active and happy childhood in Tiverton and she remained fond of that town throughout her life.
After completing elementary school Jo attended Oak Grove School, a Quaker preparatory school for young women in Vassalboro, Maine. There Jo was shown how to knit by a fellow classmate, an art that she perfected and practiced till the end of her life. During WW II she worked at the Torpedo Station in Newport and met her future husband, Clyde Solmon, an army corporal stationed nearby. They eloped and were married on Aug, 13, 1943. She liked to say “We met while roller skating and went around together for the rest of our lives.” They had two children Donald and Dana, the latter of whom was handicapped, lived with and was taken care of by his parents for almost all his life.
Jo and family moved from Tiverton to Fall River in 1954 and lived in Maple Gardens for over twelve years. Jo went to work part time at Kravif Manufacturing in Fall River and together they saved enough to buy a home in Americana Terrace in Somerset in 1966.
Jo loved camping and square dancing. Her favorite time camping was early morning. She would get up, light a fire and read for an hour or so before preparing breakfast for the rest of the family. She travelled widely in the contiguous United States both camping and attending square dance conventions.
She was a “child of the depression” to the end. When asked if she liked a luxury (nonessential) item, she would say “Show me the price and I’ll tell you if I like it.”
While not strongly religious she was a member of several churches during her lifetime; Central Baptist in Tiverton, First Baptist in Fall River and Congregational Christian Church in Somerset. In her latter years she greatly enjoyed the friendliness and fellowship of the Somerset church.
She was an avid cribbage player. She held her son, Donald, and husband to a draw over 25 years of keeping score. She greatly enjoyed playing cribbage at the Senior Citizen Center in Somerset and also attended exercise classes there well into her 90s. Since early 2018 Jo greatly enjoyed living at Clifton Assisted Living in Somerset.
Jo was preceded in death by her sisters Celia and Evelyn, her husband Clyde in 2015 and her son Dana in 2020. She is survived by her son Donald and daughter-in-law Elizabeth of Corvallis, Or., her granddaughter Joanna of Boston and grandson Daniel of Missoula, Mt. Jo’s nieces and nephews Nancy (Carr) Pearson and Bob Pearson, Pam Carr and Ron Carr also survive her. These all made significant contributions to her enjoyment of life to the end.
Services in remembrance will be held at a later time. Charitable contributions in her name may be made to the Congregational Christian Church of Somerset or the Somerset Senior Citizens Center. To leave an online condolence go to www.hathawayfunerals.com.
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