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Dr. E. Ray Solomon

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Dr.  E. Ray Solomon Obituary
Dr. E. Ray Solomon

Tallahassee - Beloved husband, father and grandad, he was called to his heavenly home on January 21, 2019. He was born and raised in Carrabelle, Florida as the oldest of two boys and he graduated from Carrabelle High School where he was President of his class and played football, basketball, and the saxophone in the school band. He was only one of three seniors in his class to attend college. He graduated from FSU in 1951 and joined the US Army where he served for two years prior to serving in the US Army Reserves (53-59). He received his Masters degree from FSU and his PhD from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

He worked in the insurance industry until he joined the FSU College of Business in 1962 to teach Risk & Insurance. He received his C.L.U. designation from the American College of Life Underwriters. At Florida State, he quickly rose through the ranks from Professor to Department Chair and eventually was named Dean of the College of Business. As Dean, he established an alumni association, set up the College of Business's first fund-raising program, created endowed chairs, raised salaries, and increased research funding. He worked with late Rep. Herb Morgan to secure funds from the Florida Legislature for the Charles A. Rosetta building, currently in use today. He was Dean until 1991 and then served as the Midyette Eminent Scholar in Risk & Insurance before retiring in 1997. He remains the longest serving Dean of the College. He has received numerous honors and awards from FSU including the Ross Oglesby Award for Outstanding Contributions to Students, Gold Key, Vires Torch, Circle of Gold, Commitment to Excellence Award and most recently inducted into the COB Faculty Hall of Fame. He was also a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, Delta Sigma Pi, and Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. He especially enjoyed the E Ray Solomon Golf Classic, organized by COB Alumni and students, previously held annually at the University golf course to raise funds for student scholarships.

He served his community in many ways. He was a member of the Board of Directors of Florida State Bank, SunTrust Bank and Bankers Insurance Group. Past President and one of the original founders of Goodwill Industries of the Big Bend, active in the Capital District Boy Scouts of America, received the Silver Beaver Award and was the 2014 Distinguished Citizen Award Recipient. He has been President, chaired, or served on the boards of most every organization he has been a member of including the Tallahassee Kiwanis Club, Economic Club of Florida, Tiger Bay, United Way, Southern Scholarship Foundation, and Tallahassee Memorial Hospital and the TMH Foundation. He was past general chairman and underwriting chair for the TMH Golden Gala, honorary chair for Golden Gala XIX and outstanding Trustee-TMH Foundation (2001). He received the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Leadership Award in 2004. He also faithfully served his church, First Baptist, for over 55 years as past Chairman and on the Board of Deacons as well as teaching Sunday school for many years.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 65 years, Mary Ann Wansley; his daughter Susan; grandsons Bruce Patterson and Connor Patterson; his son, Earl Jr.; grandsons Ray Solomon and Luke Solomon. He is also survived by a sister, Kay Strickland (Ronnie); numerous nieces and nephews and in-laws. He was predeceased by his father Earl P Solomon and mother Ruth Hance Yates, and a brother, Roy Hance Solomon. His love for his faith was first in his life, followed by his love for family and friends. He loved teaching at FSU and developed lifelong lasting friendships with many of his students. He also enjoyed spending time at his cottage in St. George Island.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that those wishing to honor his memory donate to the E Ray Solomon Presidential Scholarship at the FSU Foundation (F01012). The mailing address is: Gift Services, FSU Foundation, 325 W College Avenue, Tallahassee, FL 32301-1403. Please put the name of the scholarship fund in the memo line of the check. You may also donate to the E Ray Solomon Endowment at the Southern Scholarship Foundation. The mailing address is: Southern Scholarship Foundation, 322 Stadium Drive, Tallahassee, FL 32304. Please include the name, E Ray Solomon Endowment on the memo line of the check.

A Memorial service will be held at First Baptist Church on Friday, January 25, 2019 at 1:00pm. Family and friends are invited to a reception immediately following the service at the Governors Club.

Rocky Bevis of Bevis Funeral Home in Tallahassee (850/385-2193 or www.bevisfh.com) is assisting Mrs. Solomon with her arrangements.
Published in Tallahassee Democrat on Jan. 23, 2019
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