Paulette Solt – A lifetime of Giving to Others
1/23/1945 – 8/27/2023
Paulette Solt, a resident of Calistoga, passed away peacefully on August 27, 2023, after a short but valiant battle with pancreatic cancer, colon cancer, and a recent traumatic brain injury. Paulette stood out for her ardent desire to care for others, augmented by a joyful and playful approach to life. She will primarily be remembered as someone quick to smile and laugh, a great conversationalist, an empathetic listener, and frequent willing accomplice in some of her beloved daughter Stacie’s adventures that ran the gamut from wearing costumes to cheering on her favorite sports teams.
Born in Monterey and raised in Carmel by the Sea and then Pacific Grove, Paulette graduated from Pacific Grove High School in 1962 before attending Monterey Peninsula College. She then transferred to San Francisco State University where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Social Work.
Immediately after graduation, the public service-oriented young woman began work as a Juvenile Probation Officer for the City and County of San Francisco. During her dedicated 32 years with the department, Paulette provided unwavering support and supervision to innumerable youngsters and their families. This included becoming the first probation officer in San Francisco to work in the juvenile Drug Court Program, a novel approach in the 1990s to keep young people with drug offenses from being incarcerated, and instead provide structured programming to overcome addiction and other life struggles.
During her life’s professional vocation, her father, James Paul Solt, became ill, and she traveled to Calistoga every weekend and vacation period to care for him at what had become the family home.
Paulette managed not only to care for her father, but to also keep up a demanding career while raising her daughter, Stacie, who would remain her best friend and traveling companion throughout her life. Her pride in her daughter was immeasurable as Stacie realized her dream of attending Stanford University and UCSF Medical School and became an emergency medicine and addiction medicine physician.
Following the death of her father in 1998, Paulette moved to the family home in Calistoga, where her older brother Peter was already living. She commuted to San Francisco until her retirement from Juvenile Probation in 2001.
Never one to stay still and wanting to renew her proclivity toward public service, Paulette began working as a Community Service Officer for the City of Calistoga for over a decade.
Caregiving responsibilities continued when her elderly mother, Allison Solt, moved to Calistoga from the East Coast. Paulette provided unwavering care for her until she passed in 2010, at the age of 100 years.
During this time, she also became an active member at Highlands Christian Fellowship in Calistoga and later at Encounter Church in St. Helena, as well as a busy volunteer for a variety of nonprofit organizations throughout the Napa Valley.
Caring for others remained a major focus in her life. Through Highlands Christian Fellowship and Baho Outreach, Paulette began sponsoring a young Rwandan boy, Fabrice Niyonkuru. With her typical nurturing, Paulette did much more than just send money to the organization. She began a spirited correspondence with Fabrice and even journeyed to Rwanda to meet him and his family. So taken by his sweet nature and intelligence, she continued to sponsor the youth as he graduated from high school and began training for a career in dentistry.
Still, caretaking responsibilities closer to home added to Paulette’s responsibilities as her brother Peter became ill and needed her assistance.
Despite everything on her plate, you could not walk around Calistoga alongside Paulette without people constantly saying hello and wishing her well. She had an infectious smile and was quick to share her witty sense of humor.
Paulette nurtured numerous friendships over the years, including friends her age as well as strong relationships with her daughter’s friends and their families. Paulette loved meeting new people at all opportunities. She also had a special knack for connecting with animals, especially cats, and had several stray cats adopt her over the years.
With all her self-sacrifice for others, amiable Paulette always found time to have fun, especially traveling with Stacie to such locales as Thailand, Hawaii, and a river cruise along the Danube that ended in her father’s native Hungary. Closer to home, she loved attending galas and fundraisers at Stacie’s alma mater, Sacred Heart Cathedral in San Francisco, holding court at Calistoga’s weekly bingo games, and loudly cheering on the San Francisco Giants, Golden State Warriors, San Francisco 49ers, and all of Stanford University’s athletic teams.
While Paulette’s diagnosis of cancer certainly gave her pause, her strong faith and knowledge Stacie had found a wonderful life partner in Declan O Looney provided her courage and strength.
Although sad she would not be here for the birth of her first grandchild, a boy, in February 2024, Paulette was at peace knowing Declan would be there for Stacie and her grandson and that she had secured a good, assisted living facility to take over the care of her brother.
Paulette was preceded in death by her father James Paul Solt, her mother Allison Glasgow Solt, and her half-brother Ted Nash.
She is survived by her daughter Stacie Solt and her partner Declan O Looney, brother Peter Solt, stepbrother Jim Zimmerman, nephews Aaron Nash and Teddy Nash and Gregory Solt, grand-nieces McKenna Odom and Sarah Solt and Avery Kate Solt, sisters-in-law Denise Lafontaine and Brenda Morton and many, many extended family members and friends.
A celebration of life will take place on Sunday, September 24th in San Francisco. If you would like to attend, please contact Stacie at email@example.com
for details. A memorial service will also take place in Calistoga at Highlands Christian Fellowship (970 Petrified Forest Road) on Saturday, September 30th at 10am. Paulette will be interred in Monterey with her father and paternal grandmother in Spring 2024 after her grandson is born.
Gifts in Paulette's memory may be made to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (www.pancan.org
), Baho Outreach (bahooutreach.org) to support Fabrice Niyonkuru, or to the memorial scholarship fund at Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory (www.shcp.edu
) to provide financial aid for high school students.