Dorothy Louise Solberg

Dorothy Louise Solberg

Dorothy Louise Solberg was called home on January 10, 2021. She suffered a stroke and mercifully passed away four days later, surrounded by family.

The daughter of a farmer (Walter Blitgen) and a one-room school teacher (Edna Hinke), Dorothy was born in beautiful Bellevue, Iowa, in 1931, and enjoyed life on the farm with her brother Richard (d.2018) and sister Alice. She graduated Bellevue High School in 1949, earned her teaching degree at Wartburg College, and shortly after her adventurous spirit saw her set out on her own to teach in Southern California. It was in Northridge that she met her husband of 50 years, Howard Solberg. They were married in 1955 and had 6 children - Debi, Scott, Diana, Shari, Steven (d.1978) and Holly. 

In 1969, the family moved to the small mountain community of Lake Hughes, California, where Dorothy and Howie taught side by side at Hughes Elizabeth Lakes Union School for 26 years. Dorothy brought her unflagging energy and industriousness both to her home and to the ventures she and Howie pursued together: The Side Door Antique Store and a successful health and wellness Shaklee business. She was a champion for improving the lives and health of people and the planet, and she was a leader in organizing the first ever Earth Day in Lake Hughes. She also found time to volunteer regularly in community activities, including the Women’s Club, 4-H, the Painted Turtle, and she remained a faithful member of Church of the Lakes.

She dug deep into her faith when she lost her 13-year-old son Steven to a bicycle accident, and with strength and grace, she helped others also experiencing loss. She modeled her faith in quiet, yet powerful ways, including making sure that those who were alone or sick received meals before her family had their yearly Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. 

Dorothy continued to live in Lake Hughes after the death of Howard (2005) until the family home burned down (2013) in the Powerhouse Fire. Always able to create light from loss, the same year she reconnected with longtime family friend John Baker (d. 2019), who brought new love, laughter, adventure, and another daughter (Teresa Abraham) into her life. 

Dorothy is survived by her sister Alice Gauna, many nieces and nephews, dear life-long friends, her five children, and five grandchildren (Joshua, Natalie, Caleb, Zachary, and Gaby). She never stopped living the lesson of putting love, family, and service to others first: kind, loving, and compassionate, her life had an impact on the lives of everyone blessed enough to know her. We believe there is a very bright star shining in the skies with her name on it and all we can say is, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”

*An online tribute for Dorothy will take place on March 20th at 12pm PST. When it is safe to do so (i.e. when we are all vaccinated), an in-person party will be held in Dorothy’s honor in Lake Hughes. Please contact a family member or go to valleyofthesunfuneralhome.com for updates and to leave messages.

**If you’d like to do something to honor Dorothy, please consider donating to your local food bank or to www.feedingamerica.org. And please, do something kind for someone today in Dorothy’s memory.