I wanted t include Chief Slayton’s Obituary in case you didn’t hit the link to it in last night’s post. You can tell that it was written by his children and really gives a feeling of the man Chief Slayton was. This was published in our local paper, The Roanoke Times; and can also be found on Roanoke.com HERE.
Bobbie Sherwood Slayton , our beloved husband and father, left this earthly realm to begin his eternal rest with the Lord, a little after 12 noon on January 8, 2011. Our mother was with him at his bedside, and angels sent by the Roanoke City Fire Department guarded him as he passed. Bobbie was born on February 27, 1944, in Roanoke, Va. to Woodsie and Lelia Slayton, who preceded him in death. He is also preceded in death by his brother Roger. Bobbie loved his family very much, and we loved, adored, and admired him in return. Bobbie was our hero. Bobbie is survived by his wife, Vicky, of 47 years. Vicky was Bobbie’s sweetheart, baby doll, and angel. She greatly loved him and will dearly miss him. He is also survived by three children, all of Roanoke: Rebecca Briggs, Jennifer Schilke and her husband, Mark, and Zachary Slayton and his wife, Sharon. Bobbie was blessed with nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild: Meghan Sizemore and her husband, Patrick Wright, and their son, Conner Wright; Bradley Sizemore; Ethan, Victoria, Lelia, and Edward Schilke, Kenzie and Emma Slayton and Kailee Bryant. Bobbie is also survived by two sisters, Shirley Tatum and her husband, Robert, and Leoney Snyder; as well as many nieces and nephews and one special nephew, Lynn Tatum. Also surviving Bobbie are his three half-sisters, all of Greensboro, N. C.: Melissa Reeves and husband, John, Jeannette Skinner, and Donna Sampson. Bobbie was a member of the Roanoke City Fire Department, and rose to the rank of Battalion Fire Chief before retiring on July 1, 2010, after almost 45 years of service. Chief Slayton began his career in the Department on December 6, 1965, and held the honor of being the longest actively serving firefighter on record there. Bobbie was the head of the Apparatus Committee for the Department for over 20 years and was instrumental in the design and purchase of their fire equipment. Our father loved the fire department, which was his life’s work. More importantly, he loved the men that he worked with and served, and each held a special place in his heart. We would like to thank the staff of Roanoke Memorial Hospital for the loving care given to our father in his final weeks. We would like to express our eternal gratitude to the brother hood of men from the Fire Department who came to our family’s aid: visiting, standing watch over our father, and comforting and supporting our family throughout this time of grief. Our father never met a stranger, and friends circled around him his entire life. He believed that there was good in all people and always gave them the benefit of the doubt. He taught his family the meaning of Servant Based Leadership and to be strong, independent, hard-working individuals. He taught us that family was the most important thing in life. Our father loved his family, loved his work, and loved cars … if he wasn’t working, he was tinkering on an old car. Our father was always busy with something or some kind of project. Our Dad was the hardest working man on the face of the earth. We never knew him to have less than three jobs at a time. Besides the Fire Department, he drove a tour bus for Abbott Bus Lines, delivered fire trucks for KME all over the country, was a talented automobile mechanic, and volunteered at his church, Belmont Baptist. He loved dogs, hunting, bluegrass music, and NASCAR races. He loved to drive and he loved to travel. He loved his gentle kind mother Lelia, and he talked of her often. We trust that he is with her now in heaven. We love you always, Daddy, and will miss you so much until we meet again. The family suggests that memorials be made to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation at firehero.org or P.O. Box 498, Emmitsburg, MD 21727. The funeral service will be held at First Baptist Church Roanoke (515 3rd Street SW) at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, January 12, 2011 and officiated by the Rev. John Fox. Interment will follow at Cedar Lawn cemetery with formal Fire Department honors. The family will receive friends from 2 to 4 p.m. and from 6 until 8 p.m. on Tuesday, January 11, 2011 at Oakey’s Roanoke Chapel, 318 Church Avenue SW, 540-982-2100. Published in Roanoke Times from January 10 to January 11, 2011