Willliam "Bill" Henry Slaughter, Sr, 101, of Junction City, KS, passed away on Saturday, October 2, 2021 at his residence. A graveside service with military honors will be 10 a.m. Thursday, October 14, 2021 at the Kansas Veterans' Cemetery. A visitation will be 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, October 13, 2021 at the Johnson Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to be given to Boys Town Nebraska 13460 Walsh Drive Boys Town, NE 68010.
William was born May 24, 1920, in Iuka, MS Tishomingo County the son of James L. and Litha Mae (Jackson) Slaughter.
He was one of five children. His formal schooling was only to the 5th grade because like many children during the 1930's, he needed to work, to help support the family. However, his learning never stopped.
He started working at a gas station at the age of ten. By the age of twelve, he stated, there wasn't a car that he couldn't fix. He was considered a master mechanic at a young age. He later went to work for Dexter Lumber Company as a truck driver and mechanic. While working for Mr. Dexter, he purchased his first car at the age of fifteen.
William served in the United States Army during World War II. He served from 1942 until 1945. He served a full tour in England as a driver for his Captain. He was one of seven black soldiers for the 89th Medical Detachment. He returned to Iuka, MS after the completion of the war. At the time, it was hard to find work in MS, so he moved to Kentucky and found work with the railroad.
Mr. Slaughter moved to Fort Riley, KS in 1949 and became a tank mechanic. Within seven years, he was promoted to the shop foreman, where he worked for thirty two years having retired in 1980. William worked to the end. He singled handedly planted and gathered a garden of butter beans, green beans, ice potatoes (his made up name for them), turnip greens and corn. The week of his passing, he canned twelve jars of fresh pear preserves. He has done all of this gardening with the loss of his right leg that was amputated in 2017. As he was often quoted as saying, "I lost my leg, not my mind". He was known for his resourcefulness.
William met and married Hattie Bell Thompson May 3, 1941 in Iuka, MS. From this union, eight children were born.
Survivor include two sons, William H. Slaughter, Jr. (Rosa) of Killeen, TX and Eddie L. Slaughter (Terrie) of Wylie, TX; six daughters, Peggy J. McAlister of Carmichael, CA, Evelyn A. Sanders of Fairfield, CA, Flora B. Lewis of Houston, TX, Kelema S. Bellamy (Kenneth) of Junction City, KS, Marsha F. Davis (Gilbert) Hinesville, GA and Lisa Y. Jones (Alvin) of Lawton, OK; twenty two grandchildren and forty seven great-grandchildren and twenty two great-great grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers and two sisters.
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