Thomas R. Slaughter, born July 6, 1939, grew up in in Waterloo, Iowa, where he lived a childhood grounded in family and small-town values. His parents, siblings, and an extended family of aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents, were always present in his life and important to his upbringing.
He lived in Waterloo until he left for Loras College, where he received his undergraduate degree, and then went to Northwestern University law school, working part time jobs to help pay his way while maintaining grades in the rigorous Northwestern curriculum. His law degree launched a long career in commercial law in which he excelled.
From childhood, he loved baseball. As a little boy he would listen to games on the radio under the covers at night. As a law student, he was a regular in the bleachers at Wrigley Field. He became a passionate fan of the team in every city he lived in: first the Kansas City Royals, then the St. Louis Cardinals, and finally, for the last 40 years of his life, the Atlanta Braves.
That love of baseball led him in middle age to coaching youth baseball; he started when his six year old grandson started playing in the Roswell Youth League, and he kept coaching for ten years. On Coach Slaughter's teams, every child played; no one was left sitting on the bench. He was never just about winning. He wanted those children to love the game and love playing it.
For all of his adult life, Tom was active in government and politics., and was an inveterate reader of biography and history, particularly of the Civil War and World War II. His heroes were Churchill and Harry Truman. When as a young man he was elected Jackson County Democratic Chairman, he regularly took visitors to the Truman Library to meet the former president. The acquaintance he formed with President Truman was an honor he treasured.
He was smart, quick witted, and fiercely competitive; he loved games, but particularly card games and particularly bridge., in which he was a life master. After retirement, he played duplicate several times a week until Covid and then his illness ended it. During his last months, his greatest pleasure was playing cards with his friends.
He was a big hearted, kind, and generous man who loved his family, was an adoring and happy grandfather, and a doting husband. We will all miss him.
A celebration of life service to honor Thomas life will be held on Saturday, December 10th, 2022, from 3:00pm - 5:00pm in the community room of McDonald and Son Funeral Home.