Gabe Clayton Slaughter died peacefully on June 12, 2013 at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Hospital in Houston.
Mr. Slaughter was born June 28, 1922, the ninth of ten children born to George Henry "Buck" Slaughter and Allie Russell Slaughter in Fostoria (Liberty County), Texas. He was an uncle twice at the time he was born. He attended school in Cleveland, Texas and he graduated from Cleveland High School. As a senior, he was the Captain of the football team.
Gabe also was a 65 year member of the Tarkington Prairie Masonic Lodge and was a 32nd Degree Mason.
He enlisted in the United States Army in 1942, shortly after the outbreak of World War II. In 1943 he went to fight in the Philippines. He was trained as an engineer, but because he quickly learned the language spoken by the local people, he was assigned to intelligence duties. He even got his own Jeep. He often said, "There were colonels who didn't have their own Jeep."
Mr. Slaughter was a true hero. He was awarded the Bronze Star with two Oak Leaf Clusters, as well as numerous other awards. He was wounded three times, but each time he declined the Purple Heart because he didn't want his mother to get a letter telling her he had been wounded. (He "didn't want her to worry.")
After the War he returned to Cleveland. In 1946 he married Loyce AvaNell Stephenson. In 1948 Gabe and Loyce moved to Highlands where they lived until Loyce's death in 2007. Gabe worked for Humble Oil/Exxon for 33 years until he retired in 1982. After he retired, he operated several businesses including a jewelry store and watch repair shop, a shoe repair shop and an appliance repair shop, all at the family home on Main Street in Highlands.
Gabe Slaughter was a great man. He possessed a brilliant mind and a powerful will. He endured terrible personal tragedy which would have daunted lesser men, and he survived and prospered in spite of it. He and Loyce lost their first child as an infant, and their only son, Clay Slaughter, was killed in an automobile accident in 1969. Gabe cared for Loyce throughout her last illness, and when she died he endured that tragedy with the strength and grace that characterized his whole life. He stood up to illness and declining health in his later years and survived sometimes just by the sheer strength of his will and personality.
Mr. Slaughter was preceded in death by his wife of 60 years, Loyce AvaNell Slaughter, his infant daughter, his son Clay Slaughter, his brothers and sisters Clyde Slaughter, Geraldine Harris, Allie Mae Faulkner, Oran Horton Slaughter, Lela Bledsoe, Henry Augusta Slaughter, Robert Jessie Slaughter, baby Faye Slaughter, June Olivia Gibson, step-father George Thomas McGinnis, and step-brothers and sisters George, Linnie, Susie, Jeff, Henry, Horace, Roy and James.
He is survived by his daughter, Trary Nell Slaughter and son-in-law Tom Niederhofer, grandchildren Misty Ann Choate and boyfriend Jit Mungroo and Clayton Choate and wife Summer Choate, and the father of his grandchildren Mac Choate and numerous nieces, nephews and other family members. He is also survived by his "great-granddogs" Tiger, Lilly and Astro (affectionately known as "Astroady").
The family wishes to thank all the kind caregivers who helped care for Mr. Slaughter during his last years.
Pallbearers will be Clayton Choate, Jit Mungroo, Tom Niederhofer, Kenneth Boudreaux, Roland Weber and Orvil Daniel Faulkner.
The family will receive friends from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Friday, June 14, 2013 at Navarre Funeral Home. Services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, June 15, 2013 at the Montague Church of Christ near Cleveland with Mr. Roye Gibson officiating. Burial will follow at the Montague Cemetery.
To view his online obituary, or post a tribute to his family, go to www.navarrefuneralhome.com.
Arrangements are under the direction of Navarre Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 2444 Rollingbrook Drive, Baytown, Texas 77521, (281) 422-8111.