(Feb. 5, 2001)
Funeral services were held Monday morning, Feb. 12, at Union Presbyterian Church for "the flower man," Richard D. (Dick) Slater, 73, who died Monday, Feb. 5 at St. Vincent Hospital in Billings, Mont., after a long battle with Wegener's Granulomatosis.
Mr. Slater, with his wife Ellen, was responsible for planting and maintaining 42 flower beds in public spaces in Powell. These included the flower beds at the chamber of commerce building, the police station and along Coulter Avenue through town.
Mr. Slater was born Aug. 23, 1927, in Grant, Iowa, the only son of Harold and Georgia (Hobbs) Slater. After graduation from high school in Glenwood, Iowa, he served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, being honorably discharged on Aug. 20, 1948.
On Oct. 9, 1949, he married Ellen M. Fleming in Glenwood, Iowa. They made their first home in Omaha, Nebr., then moving to Tennessee with the Southern Railroad. They returned to Iowa where they lived in several communities until October of 1976 when they moved to Powell.
During his life's work, he had varied experiences. He worked for the railroad for five years; was employed by BF Goodrich Tire Co.; was a district sales rep for Gulf Oil Corp.; was owner/operator of a gas service station; partnered with his oldest son, Mike, in an auto repair business; and then worked as an auto mechanic in Powell for several years. In 1985, he slowed the pace by driving school bus for the Powell School District while continuing to help Ellen develop their commercial greenhouse business which they started in 1978.
He was active in the Presbyterian Church as an elder, deacon and member of the committee responsible for the expansion of the church. He was a member of the American Legion and the Optimist Club, a troop leader for the Boy Scouts of America, and a leader in the Powell Kiwanis Club. He was Kiwanian of the Year in Powell in 1991-92 and again in 1994. He served as Lieutenant Governor of Kiwanis for Division 10 of the Rocky Mountain District from 1991-1994.
He also enjoyed many years of fishing, golfing, woodworking, playing cribbage and softball.
Survivors include his wife, Ellen of Powell; two sons, Mike and Lil of Waukee, Iowa, and Pat and Diana of Powell; daughter Jaci Johnson and husband George of Powell; two brothers, Allan Slater and wife Jeanie of Arkansas and Jerry Slater and wife Sue of Colorado; a sister, Marlene Boyer and husband Cliff of Silver City, Iowa; six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
The Rev. David Hunter officiated at funeral services. Burial will be held at a later date in Glenwood, Iowa.
The family will receive memorials which will be divided between the church he served and medical research of Wegener's Granulosmatosis.