Michelle Angela Solomon of West Jordan died on Sunday, March 17 in Huntsman Cancer Hospital after a short illness. Born in Bethlehem, PA, she was the wife of Edward Szetela, and taught English and Writing at Copper Hills High School and at the Salt Lake Community College. She was a graduate of Stony Brook University, and held Master’s Degrees from Long Island University and Northern Arizona University. She helped found and was the Director of the newly formed Copper Hills Writing Center. She was a published scholar in the field of teaching Writing and Writing Research.
She grew up in Coopersburg, PA and Emmaus, PA, in the midst of her parents and brother, all four grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins. Since two of her grandparents were from Ireland, she grew up knowing her aunts, uncles and cousins there, and remained close to them. She loved to read and talk about books from an early age. She and her family camped and traveled often. Michelle loved swimming and was in a swim team; she always loved the sea and walking along the seafront. Even as a young child she was interested in cooking with her mother, and grandmother, especially baking.
She and her husband Ed loved to travel together, and enjoyed trips to Estonia, Sweden and Finland; to Iceland, Rome, Ireland and Australia. They enjoyed travel to Las Vegas, New York, Seattle and National Parks in Utah. They had plans to travel to England and Wales, Israel and the East Coast. She always shared their travels and her photos online, giving family and friends the chance to share in the adventures.
Michelle was an enthusiastic writer, voracious reader, and blogged about travel and cooking. She loved music, archaeology, and traveling with her husband. She loved words and humor, and always enjoyed discovering strange and interesting facts about the world and history. She was fascinated by the skill and complexity of the art of writing. She had a strong spiritual bent, and a critical and enquiring mind that made discussions with her invigorating and enjoyable. Her independent spirit led her to search continuously for the answers behind the most difficult questions in life, and she was continuously seeking out the many ways other people see the world. She loved to laugh.
Teaching was a joy to her. She talked kindly and thoughtfully about her students, and deeply appreciated her teacher friends and colleagues. She was so thankful to have the chance to work at a profession she loved.
She is sadly missed by her beloved husband, Edward Szetela; her parents, Thomas and Angela Solomon of Santa Rosa, CA; her brother Justin and sister-in-law Phatcharee Solomon, and nephew, Niall of Petaluma, CA; her aunts and uncles, Anne and William Maginn of Clifton Park, NY, and cousin Ciara; Patrick and Meghan Keith-Hynes of San Diego, CA, and cousins Bronwyn and Aidan.
Her kindness, compassion, generosity and great goodness are missed by all who knew her. She gave gifts freely to everyone in her life, but her greatest gift was her kindness.
Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church, 7405 South Redwood Road, West Jordan, Utah on Thursday, March 21, at 4:00 p.m. There will be a viewing beginning at 3:00 p.m. in the Church meeting room. Refreshments will be served following Mass in the church hall for friends and family. Please join us.
For those unable to attend, visit www.starksfuneral.com to watch the Funeral Mass live. Services will remain viewable on Starks Funeral Parlor website thereafter.
Special thanks to the Huntsman Cancer Hospital for their superb care to Michelle during her illness. In lieu of flowers a donation can be made in Michelle’s name to Cross Catholic Outreach, crosscatholic.org.
Michelle and Red Shoes
Michelle was very close to her Irish grandmother, who had a love of red shoes, especially patent leather. Her grandmother wore them at a time when most people didn’t dare to wear brightly- colored footwear, and it became a symbol in the family for creativity and courage to be oneself. When Michelle and Ed were getting married, she decided to wear sneakers so that she could dance at her wedding, and as a message to her grandmother that she had learned those lessons, her sneakers were red.