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William J. Sollner was born July 28, 1925 in Downs, Kansas to Dr. Anson Huey and Esther Ann Sollner. Dr. Anson Sollner moved the family to Arma, Kansas where he worked as a dentist for several years. William Sollner graduated from Crawford County Community High School in 1943, and began training to be a naval aviator. Upon finishing his training he remained in the Ready Reserves until 1956 when he had received a Fulbright award to teach a year in Germany. After teaching in Germany, he continued his teaching career in Battle Creek, Michigan, Missouri, and Hawaii. While in Michigan he began to develop an interest in performing with puppets. In 1960, he took a position as a scriptwriter, actor, and director for the Centron Corporation of Lawrence, Kansas. While with Centron, he produced non-theatrical films for business, industry, and education. Afterwards, he began working for the Calvin Corporation of Kansas City, Missouri and continued working in the film industry until 1970 when he moved his family to Hawaii. In Hawaii he served as Dean of Instruction at Kaua'i Community College for a short time, then accepted an offer to write for The Garden Island newspaper, where he worked for twelve years as run-of-the-press reporter. In addition, he made a series of independent films on Hawaiian culture and published an alternative bi-monthly periodical, Kaua'i OFF CENTER, for five years. Two of his play scripts won national contests and were produced in Florida and Michigan. He performed in numerous college and community theater productions. In 1991 "Bill" and his wife Fay moved back to Arma to care for his aged mother. His wife preceded him in death on July 24, 2005.In 2013 Sollner married Yanju Chen. Mr. Sollner passed away in Arma, Kansas in November 2017.
Languages and Literature, Performing Arts
Size of Collection
2 linear feet
Dates of Collection
SpC MS 0186
Special Collections, Leonard H. Axe Library, "Sollner, William J., Collection, 1963-1995" (2019). Finding Aids. 151.