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Ira Taylor Sliger


1921 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Ira Taylor Sliger

Knoxville, TN

Ira T. Sliger, Jr., 95, of Knoxville, passed away Sunday, February 26, 2017. He was a member of First Baptist Church of Knoxville for over 75 years and had been active one time or another in several volunteer organizations such as the UT Retiree Association, United Way, Boy Scouts, Volunteer Ministry Center, FISH, and Mobile Meals. He graduated from Knoxville High School in 1939, where he was a member of the track team and a class speaker. He also was the chairman of many 39B Class reunions. He graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1943 and earned a master's degree in 1966. He was the head UT cheerleader in 1942 and a member of Phi Sigma Kappa Fraternity. He was also a charter member of Omicron Delta Kappa Honorary Leadership Fraternity. He became a faculty member of the Scarabbean Honorary Society and the Scabbard and Blade Honorary Military Society at a later date. He entered the military in 1943 and graduated from the Infantry School O.C.S. as a 2nd Lieutenant. He later made Regular Army through a Competitive Tour Program. He served in France and Germany during World War II, the Berlin Airlift, the Korean War, and Vietnam. He was highly decorated with the Silver Star for Valor, Bronze Star with Cluster, Commendation Ribbon with two Clusters, Purple Heart with Cluster, four Battle Stars and numerous other service medals. He was a qualified Army Ranger, Senior Parachutist with 30 jumps, a Combat, Expert and Glider Infantryman. He served in many well-known U.S. Army organizations like the 1st Infantry Division, 7th Infantry Division, 29th Infantry Division, 101st ABN Division, and the Infantry School Ranger Department. He also served as aide-de-camp to several generals. He graduated from the Command and General Staff College and retired early as a Lt. Colonel to accept a position with the University of Tennessee in 1966. He became the founding University of Tennessee Director of Recreation who was responsible for the Student Aquatic Center, and Free Play Intramurals. He initiated The Sport Club Program and for which he was most proud. He was a recipient of the Chancellor Citation for Extraordinary Service. He retired from the University in 1986. He was a past president of the Kiwanis Club of Knoxville that won first place of all International Kiwanis Clubs of over 100 members. He was also a past president of the Holston Hills Country Club, and past commander of the Military Order of World War Knoxville Chapter. He had traveled extensively in the U.S., Europe, and the Far East. Additionally, he was greatly devoted to the UT men's and Women's Athletic Programs.

Ira was preceded in death by parents, Ira T. Sliger and Gertrude Sharp Sliger; wife, Rinda Burnett Sliger; sister, Sara Sliger Gouffon; brother, Lowell "Bucky" Sliger. He is survived by daughter, Cindy Marsh; grandchildren, Gabrielle Overall, Joey Sudderth; sister, Christine Sliger Acuff; niece, Betsy Gouffon Kerr; nephews, Joe Gouffon, Tommy Gouffon; grandnephews and niece, Matthew Kerr, Nathan Kerr, Taylor Gouffon, Sloane Gouffon.

Family and friends will meet at Woodlawn Cemetery on Thursday, March 2, 2017 for a 2:00 p.m. graveside service with Dr. Tom Ogburn and Rev. Dave Ward officiating. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to First Baptist Church, 510 W. Main Street, Knoxville, TN 37902 or to . Condolences may be offered at www.berryfuneralhome.com.
Published in Knoxville News Sentinel from Feb. 28 to Mar. 1, 2017
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