Jack Solka '57 September 8, 2022 4:31 PM updated: September 8, 2022 4:38 PM
May 20, 1935 - August 27, 2022
Jack Solka passed away on August 27, 2022, in Austin, Texas after a long, courageous struggle with lung cancer.
Jack was born on May 20, 1935, in Mexico City. The family immigrated to the United States in 1945 and settled in Corpus Christi. Jack was an Eagle Scout, graduated from W. B. Ray High School, earned a Bachelor of Architecture from Texas A&M College, and a Master of Science in Architecture from Columbia University. He served in the U.S. Army as an air defense artillery officer, retiring as a Captain. He was registered to practice architecture in Texas and New York and held a National Council of Architectural Registration Board Certificate.
Jack was a founder and principal at one of the premier architectural firms in South Texas. They led the field in designing buildings for business, educational, government, health services, industrial, and religious institutions. Jack’s expertise in developing and designing residential and commercial projects was well known and he prepared Master Plans for numerous cities, colleges, and universities in South Texas and other areas in Texas.
Jack and his wife, Davie Lou Ettelman Solka, were married over 62 years! They lived in Corpus Christi for 43 years and then moved to Austin to be closer to their children and grandchildren. Jack would tell you his greatest accomplishments were his three sons and his six grandchildren. He eagerly looked forward to each grandchild’s week at Camp Solka every summer where he would show them off at his office, at Town and Country Restaurant for breakfast, and at Rotary meetings. He also took each of them fishing and on a trip to the Texas/Mexico border when they were ten. As the grandchildren became older, they joined their fathers and Zeide on annual camping trips around the state.
Jack was always active in the community, many times in senior leadership positions. In Corpus Christi, this included the Community Development Corporation, the Coastal Bend Housing Authority, American Institute of Architects, Southside Rotary Club, Corpus Christi Jaycees, the Jewish Community Council, Temple Beth El, the Texas Jewish Historical Society, the Texas State Aquarium Association, and various committees for the City of Corpus Christi.
After moving to Austin and becoming a reluctant retiree, he didn’t let up and participated in West Side Rotary and served as a consultant to local organizations when they had problems with their buildings. He was also involved with the move of the B’nai Abraham Brenham Historic Synagogue building from Brenham to the Dell Jewish Community Campus in Austin, for which he received the Shalom Austin Community Service Award in 2014.
Jack’s love of Israel showed in his work for Volunteers for Israel, a group that recruits, assists, and processes volunteers to live on IDF logistic bases and work in non-combat jobs on the base. He served as Regional Manager for VFI
for Texas and New Mexico for ten years.
Jack is preceded in death by his parents Rose (Neuman) and Isaac Solka, his sister Genie Weitzman, and his brother-in-law Andrew Bramley.
Survivors include his wife Davie Lou (Ettelman), his sons Michael (Liz), Steven (Andrea), and Gary (Shelley), his grandchildren Brian (Amanda), Kevin (Sara), Matthew, Drew, Erin, and Paige, his sister Ruth (Solka) Bramley, his brother-in-law Herb Weitzman, and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
For information regarding donations see www.solka.net/JacksMemory.
A live stream of his funeral service will appear on the Austin Natural Funerals Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/AustinNaturalFunerals, shortly before 2 pm on Monday, August 29th. A Facebook account is not required in order to watch. If a pop-up window appears asking you to log in click "not now" and the live stream will be available for you to watch. If the "not now" button does not appear, scroll down on the page and it will come up for you to select.