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Lawrence A. "Larry" Solce

August 10, 1949 - September 01, 2021



Lawrence “Larry” Albin Solce of Cadillac passed away September 1, 2021 overlooking Lake Michigan at Point Betsie in Benzie County. He was 72.

Larry was born August 10, 1949 in Detroit, Michigan to Rudolph and Henrietta (Leszkiewicz) Solce, who preceded him in death. He was one of three children with a sister, Donna, and brother, Richard.

Larry worked for Michigan State Parks for 41 years, retiring in December 2010. Throughout his career, he worked at Proud Lake Recreation Area, Bald Mountain Recreation Area and most recently managing Mitchell State Park. Continuing to support outdoor recreation, he was an integral part of the Friends of Mitchell State Park for many years. Larry’s love for the outdoors extended to hunting and fishing rivers and lakes throughout Northern Michigan.

Larry was active with Boy Scout Troop #125 as a leader and helped with many trips and outings. During retirement, Larry served as the director for Camp Greilick in Traverse City for several years and continued to support the local troop.

With his full beard and joyful nature, playing Santa was a natural fit for Larry for the last several years. He found a new calling in the role and would never shy away from wearing red. He continued the Christmas magic for children year round, both in and out of his suit.

In October 1983, he married Ann E. Souder and she survives him along with their children: Jim (Stefanie) Solce of DeWitt, Kristin (Robert) Guise of Jackson, and Dave Solce of Denver, Colorado; grandchildren: Violet and Penelope Solce and Cailin Guise; cousins, David Solce and Jim Connor; and aunt, Millie Connor.

A gathering to remember Larry will be held in the future and details will be announced on the Friends of Mitchell State Park Facebook group.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to Friends of Mitchell State Park or Boy Scout Troop #125. An online guestbook is available at

Guest Book

  • Molly Smith - Sep 3rd, 2021 1:42 pm

    "Loved seeing Larry at the Carl t Johnson center with the programs. Got pictures taken with him several times dressed as Santa at project Christmas. He made life good. Sending my love to his family"

  • Pat and David Salsbury - Sep 3rd, 2021 4:33 pm

    "Kristin and family: Sorry to hear of the sudden passing of your dad. We lift you and your family up in prayer. May God give you some peace."

  • Sue Swiger - Sep 3rd, 2021 5:43 pm

    "Larry was my boss when I was a summer ranger at Mitchell State Park many years ago. We drove him crazy with our antics for sure but when I remember him, I always see him smiling. On a day when I made a particularly big mistake and accidentally damaged one of the park’s vehicles, his response was unforgettable - “don’t sweat the small stuff, and it’s all small stuff.” My heart goes out to your family and I am so sad to hear of Larry’s passing. He was a one-of-a-kind and will surely be missed by many."

  • Patti Sanchawala - Sep 3rd, 2021 5:46 pm

    "I will never forget the joy he brought to our students with autism on a special Santa Zoom that Stefanie set up for us. Godspeed dear Larry. You are so loved."

  • Christine Potter - Sep 4th, 2021 10:11 am

    "Larry was an amazing community partner. His dedication to our State Parks, the Carl T., and Troop 125 was truly inspiring. Every time I saw him he had a smile and a twinkle in his eye. He will be missed by his community. My condolences to Larry's family and all of his friends. "

  • Rochelle and Fred Carroll - Sep 4th, 2021 5:11 pm

    "So sorry for your loss. Your family was always most supportive of the band and community organizations. Rochelle and Fred Carroll"

  • Ann M Bush - Sep 4th, 2021 6:14 pm

    " Larry loved life. He was always quick with a story, a new adventure, or a helping hand. He was so proud of his family and couldn't wait to "catch" me up on their lives. It was no surprise when he played Santa. He was caring, kind, and full of surprises like Santa. I'm grateful I had the opportunity to know him and the whole Solce Family. My deepest sympathy Ann and Family. "

  • Anne Guise - Sep 4th, 2021 8:02 pm

    "Larry had the best smile ever and I never saw him without it. He and Ann raised a beautiful loving daughter who is now a wonderful daughter in law to me. Larry was pretty famous for his pecan pie and made several for the reception when his daughter married on PI day. He had a lively sense of humor and was just a really nice guy. Larry you will be missed."

  • Jim Siadak - Sep 6th, 2021 12:15 pm

    "Larry was my best friend and co-worker for 43 years. I'm already missing him more than I ever imagined. I share my sorrow with his family. Tight lines, eh!"

  • Tim and Cindy Apps - Sep 6th, 2021 6:46 pm

    "Dear Ann and family, we r in shock reading this obituary and we r so sorry for your loss! Larry loved life and people. May God and family give you comfort during this time."

  • Millie Zukausky - Sep 8th, 2021 4:23 pm

    "Dear Ann and family, Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. I enjoyed watching Larry as Santa interacting with the children at a Clam Lake Band Christmas theme concert a couple of summers ago. He will be missed."

  • Rick & Barbara Liptak - Sep 10th, 2021 10:17 am

    "Larry was such a great guy and always a happy camper. He was a great help to our scout troop over the years and a wonderful cook on outings !! He will be missed"

  • Jim Mills - Sep 15th, 2021 6:22 pm

    "Larry and I met and became fast friends as members of "The Dead Woodchucks" Patrol at Boy Scout Leadership Training at "Uncle" Marv Kelso's farm, back in 1998. We continued our friendship as Leaders in the River Trails District of the Scenic Trails Council. We had some great times, attending and working at River Trails events. He was a great leader and a great friend and he will be sorely missed."

  • Bill Ewing - Sep 16th, 2021 11:21 am

    "Larry was a wonderful man with a huge servant's heart. I cherish the many memories of time spent organizing Scout Camporees with him. I will even miss not getting another serving of his chili......the hottest chili I've ever had. My thoughts and prayers are with Ann, Jim, Kristin, Dave and family. Rest in peace Larry. "

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