William Howard Solomon, 58, attorney and long-time Mandarin resident, passed away unexpectedly on September 20, 2009. The son of Col. William H. Solomon and Louise Robertson Solomon, he was born on April 23, 1951 in Birmingham, Alabama, and grew up in Uniontown, Alabama and Fort Walton Beach, FL. Upon graduation from Choctawhatchee High School in Fort Walton Beach, he attended the University of Florida where he majored in Marketing and was a member of Alpha Tau Omega social fraternity. He attended law school at the University of Alabama, and received his Juris Doctor degree in 1976. He was a member of the Alabama and Florida Bars. Mr. Solomon had an extraordinary number of interests. He was a lover of nature and wildlife. An avid outdoorsman, was blessed with a wonderful sense of humor and an irrepressible spirit of adventure. After practicing law in Jacksonville for a number of years, he became a hot air balloon enthusiast, and turned this favorite hobby, the exhilarating sport of hot air balloon racing, into a business. He began a company, Balloon Adventures, and took guests on hot air balloon flights, complete with strawberries and champagne. With another company, Outdoor Adventures, he often acted as an informative tour guide on kayaking excursions throughout the waterways of Florida. He lived adventures most dream of, ballooning over the French Alps and the Chateau Country of France, criss-crossing Australia in the "Great Australian Balloon Race", flying his hot air balloon over the Grand Canyon, and attending balloon rallies in New Mexico and across the U.S. He also traveled extensively in Europe and Asia, especially enjoying Morocco and Istanbul. In Pamplona, Spain, he "Ran the Bulls" with his life-long friend, Bill Norton. A member of Ducks Unlimited, he enjoyed hunting in the great outdoors and he often hunted with friends in Alabama, Georgia, and Montana, where he owned a hunting lodge. He was a member of The Sons of the Confederate Veterans. As a UF graduate, he remained an ardent supporter of the "Gator Nation", and enjoyed attending football games in Gainesville. Mr. Solomon was an active environmentalist as a member of The Riverkeepers , a non-profit advocacy group supporting the St. Johns River, as well as a strong promoter of historic preservation in the Jacksonville area. He is survived by his sister, Isabelle Solomon Whitfield of Miami, FL; his dearest love, Ellen Womack of St. Augustine, FL; cousins Mr. and Mrs. Thurman Robertson and Mr. and Mrs. Robert Howard of Birmingham, Alabama; numerous dear friends from all walks of life, and by his beloved Golden Retriever, Booster, his faithful friend and loyal companion.
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