Obituary for Melinda Solis-Day
March 14, 1957 – October 13, 2020
On October 13th, at her beloved Day Ranch, Melinda Solis-Day died in the company of her dear family. She’d beat this cancer nine years ago, but this time, God took her home. She was 63. Melinda was born March 14th, 1957, in Richmond, California to Arnold and Ardith Solis, the 2nd of four daughters. They lived in El Sobrante and Pinole, and in her early teens, moved to Grass Valley. She had to begin her freshman year at Nevada Union with not one friend, but by her graduation in ’75, knew everyone. During this time, and until her father retired, (30+ years later) Melinda often waitressed along with her sisters, at her Dad’s restaurant, the Mexican Villa, as well as many other fine restaurants in the area. Besides serving, she had many careers, and with just a bit of college under her belt, excelled at them all: She was Pacific Bell’s first line-woman of Nevada County, Tognotti’s auto-parts sales, repossessed cars, and Mark Sports (where Joe Day first saw her.) They would marry many years later aboard a sailing ship on November 6th, 1986, anchored off of the Caribbean island of Saba. Melinda said, “Let’s get married tomorrow.” and so they did. They sailed home to a family who loved Joe, but were disappointed to miss the wedding, so they renewed their vows at the Rough and Ready Wedding Chapel, followed by a big reception, where everyone celebrated and all were satisfied. Joe and Melinda loved to travel and ski and when their kids came along 5 years later, Joe said, “We’ll just take them with us.” and they did. When Joe Jr. and Jacque were 11 and 7 they bought a sailboat, “Daydreams”, and headed south. The whole family spent the next 5 years living onboard and sailing the coast of Mexico, having adventures and meeting people that would become life-long friends. They returned to Nevada City, and while the kids were in school, Melinda happily helped Joe with the family business, and volunteered wherever she was needed; Secretary of Gold Country Yacht Club, (where Joe was Commodore!) Adopt-a-Road, Barbara Schmidt Triathlon, N.C. Chamber of Commerce board member, and faithfully helped at the Children’s Renaissance Fair in Nevada City. She not only helped the community, she was the great Tia Lindy of the family—”that” aunt that children adore and will always remember. She faithfully took her nephews and nieces to the Fair, skiing, camping, Disneyland, and birthday lunches. She taught many of them to ski, swim and ride a bike. She was the one who hosted birthday parties, Tamaladas, and berry-picking days. And while the adults talked, she was surrounded by children, loading them into a golf-cart, giving them turns at the wheel, laughing as they proudly steered her around her property. When her mother died, she insisted her father come live on their property, where he helped around the business, Nevada City Self Storage. She was so many things— beautiful, athletic, (skied every season since she was 15), hilarious, creative, (All of us looked forward to the fabulous things she and Joe would make at Christmas, our “cositas”,) jealous, bossy, fiercely loyal, (You NEVER criticized her children or nephews and nieces, never). She was tireless, and generous to a fault. Melinda was such a paradox— so brilliant (could learn to navigate the ocean and read 2 papers a day). She loved animals, especially dogs and could tell you elaborate, spell-binding stories about her own pets and what they thought. She was the family hero and queen. When she got the Cancer diagnosis in 2011, she took it all in stride. Although it was a dark prognosis, she told us, “I got this.” and she did. She fully recovered and for the next 9 years was able to see her son Joseph marry a wonderful woman, have two, (soon to be three!) children (who are the absolute loves of her life) and become a Merchant Marine Captain. She proudly watched daughter Jacque graduate from Sac State, buy a home and start a clothing-line. She and Joe took 2 trips to Italy, Croatia, Costa Rica, Maui, many trips to Mexico with the kids and grands and sailed the Delta, the Channel Islands, and the Columbia River. They sailed like crazy on the lake aboard Mental Floss, often with friends, often just each-other. She threw herself the biggest birthday bash ever, “55 and Still Alive” on the stormiest night of the year. But people still came, and she didn’t disappoint; By the end of the night, she’d gotten a mic from somewhere and was on a table, singing and dancing, delighting us all. She faithfully hosted many, many family gatherings. She annually camped at her beloved Meeks Bay in the summer, one night thrilling everyone around the camp-fire with a dazzling performance of “Bye, Bye, Miss American Pie”. She had a spectacular motion for every single word. On Mothers Day at the Day Ranch, two years ago, we had a special celebration where the whole family watched her make the good confession and be baptized. When she recalled that extra time she was given she said, “The Lord was good.” He is. We’re grateful, so grateful for those great years with our Lindy. She is survived by her husband, Joe Day, her son, Joseph Day(Haley) grandchildren, LBJ (Little Baby Joe) and Bodhi-Rose, daughter, Jacquelyn Day, father, Arnold Solis, sisters Marcia Ross(Michael), Michele Nunnink(Tim), Melanie Glenn(Joe), Tracy Solis, and many nieces and nephews. The celebration of her life will be held on her birthday, March 14th, 2021. Location to be announced. Her family would like to thank Stanford University and Dr. Ganjoo for their effort to help her battle cancer.
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