John W. Slayton, 78, of Lemoyne, passed away quietly while surrounded by his family on Tuesday, April 19, 2022, after an extended battle with Alzheimer’s. He was the son of the late E. Winfred and Rosa (Richardson) Slayton, and was born on June 17, 1943, in Danville, VA. Though his battle with dementia dominated the final years of his life, it hardly defined who he was as a husband, father, and man.
John was a 1961 graduate of Dan River High School, located in Ringgold, VA, and continued his education at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech). There, he proudly earned his Business Administration degree in 1965. While in college an even more significant event occurred when he met his future wife (Jeanette, who was attending Radford College) on a blind date. Married on the 4th of July in 1965, the two began their life together on Long Island, New York, before John’s job as an internal auditor with IBM required him to frequently relocate. John’s career with IBM began in Manassas, Virginia, but soon saw him transfer to Gilroy, CA, where he lived for nearly a decade. Finally, in 1984, John and Jeanette were able to permanently settle down in Central PA with their two children, Suzanne and Scott. After 25 satisfying and productive years with IBM, John officially retired and dabbled in other professional endeavors.
He was a former member of St. Theresa Catholic Church, New Cumberland, and Holy Infant Catholic Church, Manchester; he was also a former member of the local Knights of Columbus chapter. He and his wife were mentors with the Worldwide Marriage Encounter program, and John took great pride in having been elected as Ticket Chairman for the renowned Gilroy Garlic Festival while living in California. He was a social member of VFW Post 7530, Mechanicsburg, a lifelong VT Hokies fan, and he enjoyed family vacations, especially cruises. And though he lived in the northern end of the West Shore School District, his heart belonged to the Red Land Community, where he was a passionate supporter of Red Land during his son’s 17-year tenure as the Varsity Basketball Coach. Some of his fondest memories came alongside the Red Sea and basking in the celebrations that would follow crucial victories at Culhane’s Steakhouse.
John was equally passionate and meticulous when it came to caring for and maintaining his property – from cutting the lawn (multiple times a week) to raking the leaves, mulching, weeding, fertilizing, etc. and scoffed at those who didn’t share his passion for a yard that was painstakingly manicured. He also kept the feeders in his yard well-stocked for his “little fat buddies,” a name he gave to the contingent of birds, squirrels and chipmunks who visited each day in anticipation of his handouts. John worked hard in all aspects of life, but his greatest joy, satisfaction, and happiness stemmed from being with those he loved most—his wife and children. And though they were paramount, an even greater joy was becoming a grandfather and becoming affectionately known as “Pops.” It simply provided John with a peace and harmony unlike any he had ever known. The last years of John’s life were difficult; battling dementia required him to become more dependent on others, but he maintained his reputation as a true gentleman with his subtle smile and slow southern drawl. John’s family takes great comfort knowing that he’s been freed of his earthly limitations.
Surviving John are his wife of nearly 57 years, Jeanette Slayton; his children, Suzanne Tabachini (husband, Robert) of Manchester and Scott Slayton (wife, Kelly) of Etters; his grandchildren, Abigail, Trey, Riley, and Baylee; a cousin, Wyatt Earp of TN; and a large extended family, including his beloved in-laws from New York.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 AM on Saturday, May 28, 2022, at St. Katharine Drexel Catholic Church, Mechanicsburg.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a contribution in John’s name to the Bethesda Mission (www.bethesdamission.org) or the Central PA Food Bank (www.centralpafoodbank.org).