HOLLIS, Brigadier General William Slater went to be with our Lord early on the morning of Sept. 2, 2013 at the age of 83 years. Born Feb. 11, 1930, he was a great family man during his 58-year marriage, and was an outstanding father to four children. He held four college degrees, including two doctoral degrees; a Ph.D. in management, economics, finance, and advanced quantitative methods from Ole Miss and a Juris Doctorate in Law from the University of Arkansas, becoming a member of the Tennessee State Bar and a member of the American Trial Lawyers Association, all while earning his pilot's license. He served in a number of top level positions in higher education, business, industry and the military. During his Army career, he earned the distinctions of ranger, Paratrooper and Korean War veteran. He earned the rank of brigadier general and served at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.. Upon his military retirement, he was awarded the Legion of Merit by the president of the United States, for meritorious service to his/our country. Slater became Dean of the Business Administration at California Polytechnic University, the largest technical college in the west. Upon returning to Memphis, TN, he served as vice president and general legal council for Richard's Medical Manufacturing, Inc., the largest medical instrument and implant company in the world in ear surgery and the third largest in bone replacement surgery. He was the greatest man among men. A courageous, determined leader and patriot, he had the highest level of ethical and moral standards. Slater was foremost a champion of Christ. He founded the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission and served as Deacon of his church. He authored over 20 articles and two books; "The Character of Christ", currently in the Library of Congress and "The Infantry in Attack", on reference at the Army War College. An avid admirer of God's creation, he co-founded the Barrier Islands Preservation and Protection Association in an effort to help preserve endangered sea turtles. His family is at peace, KNOWING that he is with his beloved Jesus and we will one day have a glorious reunion. Left to cherish his precious memory are his adoring wife of 58 years, Nancy Gant; his children, Laura Holleman (husband Dean), John Pete, Leslie Eldridge (husband Warren) and Mark Bruce; as well as his GRAND children Sarah-Gant, Meghan Sue, Dean II, Hollis, Rachel, Wendy, Markus, Livia, and Alicia. In recognition of his service to his country, Gen. Hollis was honored with a general's burial, including a horse-drawn carriage, full Army Band, 11 cannon shots and a 21 gun salute at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C on December 18, 2013.
Published in the Tampa Bay Times on Jan. 12, 2014