Obituary of Michelle Solarek
November 23, 1969 - July 24, 2022
Michelle Solarek, 52, of Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, her husband, Brian, and daughter, Victoria, passed away suddenly on July 24, 2022 when their vehicle was struck from behind, while coming home from a family vacation.
Michelle was born to Robert and Bernadette Whalon on November 23, 1969 in Chester, PA, and grew up in Pennside, PA. After graduating from Central Catholic High School in 1988, she attended Kutztown University where she earned a dual Bachelors Degree in Special Education and Early Childhood Education. She married her high school sweetheart, Brian Solarek, they went on to have four children: Hope, Benjamin, Joshua, and Victoria. She recently earned a Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education from Capella University.
Michelle dedicated much of her vocational life to the learning and development of children of various educational levels and diverse abilities.She worked with both special needs students as well as the troubled youth. She opened several successful early childhood programs, and worked in various school settings. In the past, she served as a consultant for the Nigerian Ministry of Education and mentored other teachers. Michelle always found a way to bring out the best in each student. This past year, she was recognized as Teacher of the Year at the Jacksonville School for Autism.
Not only was Michelle physically strong (she won a weight lifting contest in high school), she was also spiritually strong, often being referred to as a prayer warrior; fierce in her faith and love for all people, especially children, elderly, and those less fortunate. She served various ministries passionately, including Ship Chaplain, advocating for the homeless, as well as running summer vacation bible schools. She was creative, determined, and driven to reach many goals.Through the years, Michelle enjoyed being an entrepreneur and started many various business ventures such as: restaurants, food trucks, daycares, and event planning. Her hobbies included spending time with her family, being the cool mom, rapping, sailing, dancing, playing cards and board games, traveling,and helping others.
Michelle will be fondly remembered as an individual who sought to lead a positive life, help others, and always look for a better way. She was extremely selfless and regularly opened her home to those in need, friends/family, or anyone under the sun. She believed everyone was special in their own way and celebrated each person’s unique traits. Above all else, Michelle loved God and her family. She will be missed by the many lives she touched.
She was preceded in death by her father, Robert Whalon, and her daughter, Hope Solarek. Michelle passed away with her husband, Brian Solarek, and her daughter, Victoria Solarek. She is survived by sons, Benjamin Solarek and Joshua Solarek; mother, Bernadette (DeVito) Whalon; sisters, Valerie Whalon and Christine Murren (Adrian); brothers, Christopher Whalon (Donna) and Timothy Whalon (Megan); nephews, Jadan, Austin, and Kolton; niece, Adrianna; and a multitude of loving in-laws and extended family and friends.
A “Celebration of Life and Funeral Service” will be held in honor of Michelle, Brian, and Victoria, on Saturday, August 20, 2022 at 11:00 AM at St. Catharine of Siena Church, 4975 Boyertown Pike, Reading PA 19606, followed by a reception in the social hall. A memorial service in Corpus Christi, TX is also being planned. Both services are open to all.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to New Dawn Outreach or Texas Sealife Center in memory of Brian, Michelle, and Victoria Solarek.
New Dawn Outreach, Inc.
225 E. Duval St.
Jacksonville, FL 32202
Texas Sealife Center
https://www.texassealifecenter.org/donations/ (use “Special Instructions” to add “In Memory of Brian, Michelle, and Victoria Solarek”)