PECOS Richard C. "Dick" Slack, 98, of Pecos, passed away on March 1, 2013, at his home in Pecos.|
Dick Slack was born in Pecos on December 20, 1914, to Ruby Stephens and Henry Clay Slack, Jr. He was the grandson of Henry Slack, one of the contestants in the world's first rodeo in Pecos in 1883. After graduating from Pecos High School, he attended Texas A&M, where he earned a degree in petroleum engineering in 1938.
He returned to Pecos and worked as a roughneck until he purchased the Magnolia Oil distributorship in Pecos. Slack joined the Army in 1940. He served with the Texas 36th Division shipping out to North Africa, less than 4 months after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Slack fought in North Africa, Italy, France and Germany during WWII. As an Army captain commanding an artillery battery, he was awarded the Bronze Star for valor during an artillery exchange on the Anzio beachhead near Villetri, Italy in 1944. Slack returned from Europe in 1945 and reverted to Army Reserve status. He joined the Texas National Guard in 1948. After more than 20 years of military service, Slack retired with the rank of Colonel.
His political aspirations began when he was asked to run for Reeves County Judge. He was elected in 1948 and served two terms. In 1952 he was elected State Representative where he served 28 years. Slack was instrumental in the establishment of UTPB and Texas Tech Health Sciences Center in Odessa. As a legislator, he was a conservative, independent thinker with a wit and charm that broke down barriers.
During his freshman year in the House, Slack met Charlotte Tonroy, who was a third year law student and legislative clerk. They married in August, 1953.
Slack attended St. Mary's School of Law and was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in 1956. He was named Citizen of the Year by the Pecos Chamber of Commerce in 1968. Slack also served on the Board of Directors of the First National Bank of Pecos and on the Board of the Red Bluff Water Power Control District. Appointed to the first Texas Ethics Commission in 1992, Slack served for 11 years, two of those as chairman.
Slack enjoyed big game hunting and was always happy to tell his hunting stories. A good shot, he continued shooting skeet until a few months ago.
Slack is survived by wife, Charlotte; children, Anne Mackey and husband Doug of Odessa, Clay Slack and wife Ann of Austin and Cynthia Shaw and husband Stan of Austin. Grandchildren are Sarah Faulkner Staley and husband Mark; Dugger Faulkner; Margaret, David and Sara Shaw; Trey and Robert Slack; and great-granddaughter, Elizabeth Staley.
Funeral services will be Saturday, March 9 at 11:00 am at the First Presbyterian Church, 401 S. Plum in Pecos with Randy Foster officiating. Burial will follow in the Pioneer section of Mt. Evergreen Cemetery. Arrangements entrusted to Pecos Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the West of the Pecos Museum, P.O. Box 1784, Pecos, Texas 79772, or the
Published in Odessa American on Mar. 8, 2013