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William Wendell Slattery

William Wendell (Bill) Slattery

Spencer, SD
1939-41, 791, Lightning Creek, F-14, Member

William "Bill" Wendell Slattery, 84, died June 28, 2006, in Vermillion SD.

Bill was born July 24, 1921, in Spencer SD, the 16th of 18 children to Michael Edmund and Zipporah "Porah" Elizabeth (Crelly) Slattery. He graduated from Spencer SD High School in 1939, served in the U.S. Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC's) from 1939 to 1941 at Camp Lightning Creek, Custer SD and served in the US Navy aboard the USS Whitney during WWII, attaining the rank of Chief Petty Officer.

He married Norma Jean Carlson August 15, 1944, in Spencer SD. Norma was the daughter of Maurice and Mabel Thorslund Carlson.

After discharge from the Navy, Bill attended and graduated from the University of South Dakota in 1948. After college, Bill worked in radio, reporting for KUSD and WNAX. He served as Director of the University of SD News Bureau in Vermillion, SD and later as a student recruiter for USD. Bill reported the news for the Sioux City Journal and was editor of the Vermillion Plain Talk. He also worked for John Hancock Insurance both in Vermillion and Sioux Falls.

In 1974, Bill and Norma moved to AZ where Bill was Director of Public Relations for the Arizona Easter Seals until his retirement in 1985. Following Norma's death, Bill moved to White Mountain Lake AZ. He returned to Vermillion in 2004.

Bill was a member of St. Agnes Catholic Church in Vermillion. His life long passions were sports and family. He spent many years compiling an extensive family history. As a reporter, he was particularly proud of interviews with sports legends Babe Ruth, Dizzy Dean and Joe Louis. He touched the lives of many South Dakota young people as he encouraged them to pursue higher education at the University of South Dakota.

William 'Bill' Wendell Slattery

He is survived by five children: Michael (Jane), Vermillion SD; Richard (Jan), Anchorage AK; Susan (Charles) Perdue, White Mountain Lake AZ; Sally (Todd) Kenner, Las Vegas NV; Lori Slattery, Higley Az; nine grandchildren: Nick, Tom, Jim, Tony, Dan, Steve, MacKenzie, Kaelyn and Taylor; four great-grandchildren: Aaron, James, Hannah and Lucas; 2 stepgrandchildren: Kim and Jason; 7 stepgreat-grandchildren; two brothers: Bernard Byron of Riverton WY and John J. (Phyllis) of Plymouth MN; and sisters-in-law: Irene Slattery, Kensington MD; Lorraine Lease of San Antonio TX; Karen Carlson of Denver CO; and Eunice Carlson, Mitchell SD; 33 nieces and nephews and their families.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Norma; his parents; 15 brothers and sisters; and 5 nieces and nephews.

The family wishes to convey special thanks to the staff of Sioux Valley Vermillion Care Center for their kindness and support.

Bill will always be remembered for his whimsical smile and laughter.

Memorial Services were held at 11 a.m. Thursday July 6, 2006, at St. Agnes Catholic Church in Vermillion, SD.

Internment was 11 a.m. Friday July 7, 2006, at Graceland Cemetery in Mitchell, SD.

William Slattery Discharge

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