Friday, October 13, 2017 8:49 pm
Amy Juliet Sola was born March 4, 1945, to John and Mildred Svendsen Sola in Chicago, Ill. She died Aug. 31, 2017, at her home in Bradenton, Fla., surrounded by loved ones, after a long struggle with liver disease and cancer. A Celebration of Life is at 11 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 28, , at Hauge Lutheran Church, 3147 Middle Hesper Rd., Decorah. Committal service and luncheon will follow.
Named after her maternal aunt, Amy Svendsen Rygg Glover, Amy J. was baptized into the Lutheran faith in Chicago. Following her mother’s death in November 1954, she and her sister Sonja made their home with their Aunt Amy in Decorah. Amy J. attended Decorah Public Schools, graduating with the class of 1963. She was confirmed in her Lutheran faith and was a member of First Lutheran Church in Decorah. After graduation she attended Luther College.
Amy J. returned to Chicago to live with her sister Sonja, and later with roommates, or on her own until her marriage. She started her career at an advertising firm, leaving later to raise her family. She began her career again as receptionist and switchboard operator for several Chicago-area companies. She loved her work and was a respected first contact for business customers. She also worked for temp agencies that needed her specialty services.
Amy J. and Bernard Braham, a film editor for Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, were married July 22, 1974, at Hauge Lutheran Church in Decorah, her mother’s home church. Two sons, Aaron John Braham in 1976 and Andrew James Braham in 1981, were born to this union. Aaron and Andrew were both baptized at Hauge in 1982. Amy J. and Bernard divorced in 1993.
Amy J. loved being a mom and homemaker. She cherished her flower gardens, sharing flower bouquets and gardening experiences with family and friends. She delighted in clothes dried in the sun, baking her own recipes for nutritious cookies, and over the holidays specializing in a variety of Scandinavian cookies. She had wonderful culinary skills, taking pride in serving home-cooked meals for her family, relatives and friends. Weekends were specially dedicated to family including watching movies with their dogs and having homemade popcorn and other treats, or playing her guitar and singing together. Music was important throughout her life. She was self-taught on guitar, and with a natural singing voice, often played and sang folk and other music. One of her treasured memories was attending a live concert by Judy Collins at Ravinia Park, north of Chicago, with friends and family. She listened always to music on cassettes, CDs or simply on the radio, especially Chicago WFMT’s The Midnight Special.
Amy J. had an abiding love for Belgian Tervuren shepherd dogs, raising several throughout the years with her family. Horses were important also. She loved special horse images, and took horse rides on city and suburban trails, and occasionally in Decorah. She talked to and petted horses whenever she found them. Amy J. relished finding lightly used bargains, especially butterflies and angels, and other items to decorate her home. She had an artistic decorator’s touch, changing décor items to suit her taste, or rearranging furniture with the help of her sons, sharing helpful hints with them. Amy J. was especially proud of having “Decorah dust” on her car, after each trip to Decorah with her family.
Her boys were the center of her life daily. She loved them unconditionally and always had tips for living life well. With a deep faith, she was quick to find the silver lining. She displayed a zest for living and brought smiles, laughter and joy to all those she encountered.
She married Kurt Sola in Chicago and moved to a home in Schaumburg, Ill. After retirement they spent winters in Bradenton, Fla. and later bought a second home there. She and Kurt traveled to Norway annually when possible. One memorable summer Amy J. and Kurt, and her closest cousin Linda flew to Sola, Norway, where they surprised their many Sola cousins with a visit. For Linda it was the only time she met her Norway Sola family.
Amy J. is survived by her husband, Kurt of Bradenton, Fla.; sons, Aaron Braham of Gurnee, Ill., Andrew (Ediana) Braham of Chicago, Ill.; and sister Sonja Sola now of Decorah, as well as numerous Svenson/Swenson cousins in Illinois and Iowa, and Sola cousins in Illinois and Norway.
She was preceded in death by her parents, John and Mildred Svendsen Sola, a stillborn daughter Christiana, and her first husband, Bernard Braham.