Mary Elizabeth “Beth” Soldo

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Mary Elizabeth “Beth” Soldo died on May 28, 2020, after a long illness. She died peacefully, with her husband of more than 44 years at her side. Beth was preceded in death by her father, Frank Soldo, and mother Ruth Soldo (Dayton). She is survived by her husband, Peter Bridge, her sister, Linda Soldo, neice Junior Bridge, countless family members (including her dearest cousins, Paul and Paula Santa-Donato), devoted friend and caretaker, Inge Belschner, dear friends, Lib Jamison and Lisa Mezzetti, and so many more who knew and loved her. Beth resided in Maine for parts of the year at Atlantic House in Scarborough. Beth graduated from Fordham University and received her Ph.D. from Duke University. Dr. Soldo served as assistant director of the Center for Demographic studies at Duke for three years before becoming a senior research fellow at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University. She was a full professor in the department of demography at Georgetown and served as chair of the department for nine years before moving to the University of Pennsylvania, where she was named the first Joseph E. and Ruth E. Boettner Professor of Financial Gerontology and director of the Boettner Center of Financial Gerontology in the school of Social Work. She was also a professor of sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, a research associate in the Population Studies Center and Director of the Center’s Population Aging Research Center, and a Senior Fellow of the Pennsylvania Research Council in Wharton. Beth published hundreds of papers and chapters, co-authored or co-edited several books and received many million dollar research grants, including from the National Institutes of Aging (NIH). Beth was instrumental in the development of the Health and Retirement Study and was the principal investigator of the Mexican Health Study, the largest NIH grant to a woman principal investigator at the time. She testified to Congress numerous times concerning public policy issues and demography and served as a consultant to government agencies, including Social Security, Medicare and NIH. Her body of work represents her profound devotion to scholarly scientific research. A small service for immediate family and invited guests will be held at Joseph Gawler’s Sons, 5130 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C., followed by interment at Oak Hill Cemetery. A memorial service will be held at a later date.In lieu of flowers, contributions in Beth’s namecan be made to:The AARP Foundation,601 E Street, NW,Washington, DC 20049for the program to feed hungry seniors.

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