April 17, 1926 - February 15, 2003
By: Janice Altomare
Aime was born in Provence, France. He and his two sisters grew up on the family farm where they grew grapes and made wine. His father taught him welding, a skill he utilized throughout his life. Aime was also an expert horseman training horses for gentle riding and driving.
In 1939 when he was 13, war broke out in France (WWII). Two years later he joined the Underground Resistance. His first job was holding captive German soldiers until they were moved to a prison camp. His second job was helping hide German army deserters, usually Polish, Hungarian and Belgium soldiers forced into service.
In 1945 he met Paulette. She refused to date him for three years, but in 1948 she finally relented and they were married on February 25, 1950. Their daughter Miriam was born in 1951.
Aime's dream was to fly and be an airplane mechanic. His father talked him into staying on the family farm so that he could take it over when his father passed on. But after his father death in 1956, Aime and Paulette moved to Canada after a family dispute ensued over the inheritance of the farm.
They lived in Canada for nine years. The first four years he worked on a horse ranch that collected the urine from pregnant mares for human medicine. The last five years he was an auto mechanic. Soon the Souliers tired of the Canadian weather where winter was long and summer short. The first snows started in late August and lasted until late May with the ground staying frozen until June.
A friend of theirs in New York told them that California had the same type of climate as Provence, France so in 1965 they camped their way across the United States. Paulette fell in love with the town of Santa Barbara and persuaded Aime to find employment there. He found work as a vegetable gardener for a girls' boarding school and they stayed two years.
In 1967 they moved to Davis, CA where they worked for ten years on the Russell Ranch owned by Mr. & Mrs. Ham. Aime took care of the Ham's family garden and orchard while Paulette was the Ham's family cook.
In 1971 Aime & Paulette purchased land near Winters, CA. They also purchased their first flock of mixed breed sheep and put them on this property.
In 1977, Aime and Paulette went to work for a Mr. & Mrs. Glide who owned 68,000 acres stretching some 75 miles. One could ride from Vacaville to Sacramento without leaving the property. The Glide's donated the land for Travis Air Force Base. Aime worked on Mr. Glide's Pierce Ranch from 1977 until 1991 as caretaker. They were provided housing and could utilize the barns and pastures to raise sheep and cattle. It is on this ranch that they developed and raised the California Red Sheep.
In 1991 Mr. Glide, who had become senile, told Aime that he was too old to work for him any longer. When Paulette showed up to work the next day, Mr. Glide told her that if Aime does not work here, she could no longer work here. They moved themselves and their livestock to their Winters property.
On February 5, 1998 Aime fell from the barn hayloft, breaking his collarbone and suffering a severe head injury. He never fully recovered from this unfortunate accident but steadily weakened. On February 15, 2003 he quietly passed away at their home in Winters, CA.