Clayton hero Charlie Solar laid to rest

Clayton hero Charlie Solar laid to rest

CLAYTON, N.Y. (WWNY) - It was the last alarm and the last call recognizing Charlie Solar’s sacrifices as a firefighter, fire chief and beloved member of the Clayton community.

Last year, Solar told 7 News about his love for helping others.

“I tried to do what I could for the community. I like it here, I was born here,” said the late Charlie Solar.

Charlie was born here and his life celebrated here as family, friends, and firefighters from surrounding towns and villages gathered for his funeral at the Clayton Fire Hall.

“We felt this was the perfect venue for it. We could follow the social distancing guidelines, and pay respects to our brother firefighter, Charlie,” said Justin Taylor, a former chief and Charlie’s friend.

Solar got his start with the Clayton Fire Department in 1941, and served for a total of 79 years. But that’s not his only accomplishment

“He was nominated and was the first citizen of the year. That says it all. He set the standard and everyone else followed it,” said Taylor.

Aside from being named Clayton’s first Citizen of the Year, he was also a World War II veteran and in 2011, was named Honorary Dock Master in recognition of his dedicated and outstanding service to the Clayton community.

“He was loyal to his fire department, loyal to his family, and to the community. Those type of people these days are hard to come by,” said Taylor

A man that’s hard to come by, but easy to love.

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