Stan was born on April 3, 1928, to John and Petronella (Zalewski) Solokis in Muskegon, Michigan.
On October 11, 2021, Monsignor Kaminski called Stan Solokis to coach ‘Heavens Team’ at God’s big Basketball tournament. “Coach,” as Stan is fondly known as, will always be remembered for his coaching techniques, inspirational guidance to his students, and setting them up to have successful futures. His passion for Saint Mary’s athletes’ success will be eternal.
He was the first Baseball Coach for St. Mary. He could be found spending time grooming the fields. His children remember him teaching them how to shift gears and drive their cars around the bases. He even bought the Gocha home and moved it to face the ball field.
He always went the extra mile to ensure his teams could fulfill their potential on and off the court. Many times, he would be thanked by their family members by way of bags of potatoes and buckets of smelt. His Michigan Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame and Gaylord Otsego Area Sports Hall of Fame success are a tribute to his hard and relentless work as “Coach”.
His colleagues will continue telling stories for years about how he inspired them even after he left his coaching careers.
His children remember him for their stern upbringing, heavy hand, soft heart, ledger entries, and his sense of humor with a twinkle in his eye and sneaky smile. He taught them to be self-sufficient with a strong work ethic. He relished in having family gatherings, the chaos of grand and great grands running around and climbing all over him. His candy hiding is legendary. He loved being outside gardening and doing yard work in Florida. He loved his getaway time fishing with family and showing them the secret spots to mushroom hunt.
He is a World War II veteran, having served in China with fellow Marines.
His co-conspirator in life, Gladys, has stood the test of time and has acknowledged her life will not be the same without Stan “The Man” at her side.
Las Vegas has dimmed the lights of the strip this weekend and Michigan Casino’s are closed. Please toss a ten dollar bill out the window as you pass by those casinos.
He is survived by his wife, Gladys; children, Virginia, Stan (Ellen), Donna, Steve (Heidi) Marianne (Todd), and Deloris; his grandchildren, Leah (Andrew), Paul, Christa (Devin), Tiffany, Vincent, Amber (Keith), and Daniel; and great-grandchildren, Isabella, Briella, Gabriella, Atticus, and Kash.
Stan is preceded in death by his parents; his daughter, Sharon; and son-in-law, Daniel.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. Mary Athletic Association at 321 N. Otsego Ave., Gaylord, MI 49735.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, October 16, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. from St. Mary Cathedral.
Visitation will be held at the Nelson Funeral Home on Friday, October 15, 2021, from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. A parish Rosary will be offered at the Nelson Funeral Home on Friday (October 15) at 7:00 p.m. Visitation will continue on Saturday, October 16, 2021, at St. Mary Cathedral from 10:00 a.m. until the time of services.