Randall E. Sollars 1949 - 2023

Randall E. Sollars passed away December 8, 2023, after a swift, but brave, battle with cancer. He leaves behind a grieving family who embraced him with a joyous love only he could inspire. His love, kindness, crazy sense of humor, and dedication to us will live in each of our hearts forever.

Randy was born April 11, 1949, in San Jose, California, to Albert E. Sollars Jr. and Reene Phyllis (Woodside) Sollars. He graduated from Del Mar High School in San Jose, Class of 1967, in the same class as his future wife (although neither of them knew it at the time).

After a two-year stint firefighting for the California Division of Forestry, he began his career in quality control with Atari Corporation in Sunnyvale, California. He inspected manufacturing materials for design specifications, and then did final testing for coin-operated games. Though Pong™, Asteroids™, and Space Race™ were considered marvels at the time, testing them soon wore thin.

During the following 12 years, Randy worked for Ampex Corporation in Redwood City. As a research and development technical assistant, he was part of the team that tested, evaluated, and documented prototype tape transports to comply with military and NASA specifications.

Year-long travels to Central and South America interrupted Randy’s work history and fostered a love of the Central and South American cultures and their people. So many tales to tell, so many people to meet. He always wanted to go back.

Randy’s final employment in the Bay Area was as quality assurance manager with Meyer Sound Laboratories in Berkeley, a technical leader in the professional sound reinforcement industry. Meyer Sound produces studio monitors, touring speakers, electronic controllers, equalizers, amplifiers and frequency analyzers. As one might suspect, a decade in the industry that manufactured products used by the Grateful Dead, Dave Matthews, k. d. lang, and many other stars, life got a little wild.

When two of Randy’s close friends decided to leave the rat race in the Bay Area and go home to Connecticut, they invited him to come along and nanny for their newborn daughter. He jumped at the chance to leave the craziness. In fact, his resignation letter said, “So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish," which is the title of one of his favorite Douglas Adams’ books.

Not only did his new career as a nanny (or manny, as he called himself) nurture Randy’s paternal instincts, it gave him free time to play games with Jessie, take walks in the Connecticut winter, and watch many, many Baby Einstein videos; it also gave him lots of time to be online.

It was then, in October of 2000, in a roundabout way, that Randy Sollars connected with Cassie Norton 33 years after they graduated from the same high school in San Jose, never having spoken a word to each other during those school years. They fell in love through the written word, emailing thousands of pages to each other, all of which are kept in a number of binders stored in their home. Ten months and 60,000 air miles later, they were married at Elk Cove Winery on August 3, 2001.

Randy fit seamlessly into family life as the stepfather of four children, and, over the course of the next 22 years, the grandfather of four grandchildren who adored him. He loved to golf, read and write poetry, especially Haiku, and was a Bay Area sports fan of Cal, Stanford, the 49ers and the San Francisco Giants. Our family, who has been so enriched by his life and love, mourn his loss deeply.

Randy was predeceased by his mother; father; and his only brother, Pat. He is survived by his loving wife, Cassie; his step-children, Jennifer (Jim) Toney, Jon Clemens (Cecilia Cheng), Sam Clemens (Brynna Reardon), and Mitch Horning (Juliet Grace); and by his grandchildren, Jaxon, Sawyer, Tova, and Anna. He is also survived by his nieces and nephews, Shari, Colleen, Kelly, Alex, and Zachary Sollars.

During his life, Randy owned several pair of what he called “Red Fun Pants.” In honor of his sartorial splendor, we will celebrate his life with a Red Fun Pants Party at 3:30 p.m.,  Sunday, January 7, in Golden Valley Brewery’s banquet room. If you don’t own a pair of red fun pants, at least just wear red. Randy will be there in spirit, enjoying the fun.



The light in the world has dimmed with your passing. Rest in peace, Randy.

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