Sunday, January 24, 2021

In Memoriam: Patrick Solano, Senior Counselor, 51st Senator, Ambassador, Veteran, Gentlemen

On Saturday, sad news came that Pat Solano passed away at the age of 95 in Luzerne County. 
Read more here.

Pat was called the 51st Senator, the ambassador to Northeast Pennsylvania and during his career served in various capacities for nine different Governors, Republican and Democrat.

He was respected, admired and loved for his ability to bridge differences and get things done that benefitted his native Northeast PA, and the entire state.  

He was a gentleman, and treated everyone with respect.  Now they would call it “old school.”

These are qualities that are in short supply in today’s politics.

He served in several positions in the Department of General Services, where he was in charge of state-funded building projects, and the Department of Environmental Resources.

But during the Ridge and Schweiker administrations he was Special Counselor to the Governor and worked on many issues, but was of critical help to the Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources as they started their new directions in 1995.

A veteran of World War II, Pat was drafted into the military after graduating from Pittston Township High School and flew 23 bombing missions over Germany. Read more here.

Gov. Tom Ridge said of his passing, “Pat somehow survived dozens of bombing runs over Europe, Won two Bronze Stars, and then counseled governors over half a century.

“Pat embodied the Greatest Generation-- a life of honor and service in which he always put others first.  He will be deeply missed, but his legacy will be felt here in his beloved Pennsylvania-- and around the world-- forever.”

James M. Seif , the first Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection, said, "Pat was a great politician in the best sense of the word. He liked people, he liked solving problems, he loved public service and he had enormous integrity. All of us in the Ridge Administration (and many other administrations) admired his work and enjoyed being his 'students.' We will all miss him."

John Oliver, the first Secretary of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, said, "Pat Solano, a dear friend of over 40 years, was a close advisor to DCNR in its early years. An ardent supporter of state forest and state park land, particularly in northeast Pennsylvania, the Pat Solano Environmental Education Center at Francis Slocum State Park was named after him."

Read These Remembrances:

-- Patrick Solano, WW II Vet And Longtime Political Adviser, Dies At 95

-- Patrick Solano, Public Servant To 9 PA Governors Dies At 95

-- Tributes To Patrick Solano Following His Death On Saturday At 95

-- Senate Republican Leadership Honors Life, Legacy Of Pat Solano

[Posted: January 24, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

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