April 5, 1926 - September 1, 2020

 

Wallace "Bud" Soltis passed away peacefully in the early morning hours of September 1st, 2020. He was surrounded by loved ones.

In honor of Bud's wishes, a graveside military service will be held at Camp Ripley, and he will be laid to rest at Minnesota State Veteran's Cemetery in Little Falls, Minnesota.

Bud's greatest joy was his watching his large, multicultural family grow and thrive. As the eldest brother of eight children, Bud learned to love and care for a large family at an early age. He married Leona (Petersen) in 1947, and together, they raised six children on a dairy farm in Mizpah. This year, Bud and Leona celebrated 73 years of marriage, and their family tree now includes 19 grandchildren and 29 great-grandchildren! In addition to sharing Bud's Slovak heritage, his great-grandchildren also identify as part Korean, Filipino, Japanese, Moroccan, Afro-Puerto Rican, Mexican, Eastern Cherokee, Chippewa, Dutch, German, English, Irish, Welsh, and French!

Bud was a World War II veteran, and served in the United States Army from 1945-1946. After completing his military service, he applied his passion for social justice and his commitment to working-class families to serving as an organizer with the National Farmers Organization (NFO). Organizing farmers across the Midwest and California gave him a tremendous amount of pride, and he was honored by the NFO for his 28 years of service to the organization. After Bud retired from the NFO, he and Leona spent their golden years travelling between their winter home in Overton, Nevada and their summer home in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Bud reveled in gardening and growing beautiful flowers year-round. He shared this beauty generously, and was lovingly known as "The Flower Deliverer" among the veterans affairs nursing staff. Bud also loved dancing, and could be seen dancing polka with Leona late into the evening at social gatherings. Leona often joked that he could also quite literally be seen dancing late into the evening because his bright white hair made him stick out like a light bulb in the crowd. Bud lived his life to the absolute fullest, and will be deeply missed by all those who knew and loved him.

In celebration of Bud's life, friends and family are invited to donate to some of his most beloved community programs: Veterans Affairs Adult Day Care, Coborn's Cancer Center, CentraCare Hospice, and Quiet Oaks Hospice. Those seeking to honor Bud's life are also encouraged to plant a flower and share it's beauty with a stranger, neighbor, friend, or loved one.