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Richard G. Slawson

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Richard G. Slawson Obituary
Richard G. Slawson

November 17, 1918 –
September 2, 2013

Richard Slawson passed away peacefully on September 2, 2013 at home in Hawthorne, California, at the age of 94. Richard was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and moved with his wife and children to Hawthorne in 1952. Having grown up during the Great Depression, Richard knew hard work was always the way to succeed. He started working as a taxi driver in his teens, he had a reputation for seeing that his passengers were always satisfied, which set his work ethic in his later jobs and eventual career as a steamfitter, and a 60 year 'Life' member of Steamfitters' Local Union #250 in Los Angeles, making his passing on Labor Day appropriate. Richard and his wife Emma (Torti) were married on October 7, 1941, a year later their son, Richard, was born. Eight years later another son, John, was born. When the family moved to Hawthorne, it was the beginning of Richard's work as a steamfitter, a career that he enjoyed until his retirement in 1982. WWII loomed immediately after Richard and Emma were married, and he entered the Army in March, 1943. He was sent to boot camp at Camp Roberts in northern California for his first training and after a few weeks was sent with his Unit to Melbourne, Australia for further training, where he was promoted to corporal and some months later to Staff Sergeant. Richard and his fellow G.I.s were sent to New Guinea, where their landings and fire fights began. They were then sent to the Philippine Islands where his Company made 16 landings over the next two years. Richard was wounded in the leg during a major battle on Mindanao. After some weeks of treatment he rejoined his unit and fought through the end of the War.

Returning home, in 1945, Richard was greeted by his family, including his brother (another brother, John, was killed on Iwo Jima), his 6 sisters, his father, Dodd Slawson, mother, Ann (Wheelhouse) Slawson, and his many aunts, uncles, and cousins. It didn't take long for him to start a new job as a fireman on the St. Louis Fire Department, where he worked until 1952 when the family moved to California. He then began his career as a steamfitter and was employed, as a journeyman and in supervisory positions, by dozens of industrial and mechanical contractors on major projects throughout the southern California area. He worked in the area's many industrial plants, as well as commercial building construction projects. Richard even worked a short time on the Alaska Pipeline Project in 1977. He said after four weeks, "I had enough of living in barracks in the Army," and came home immediately. After retiring, Richard enjoyed his family and taking trips to his "place" in Lake Isabella, and many trips to Las Vegas; St. Louis, Hawaii, and a trip to Italy with Emma. He had a love for "boats, planes and automobiles" throughout his life and always had one or the other. Having gained his pilot's license when he and some friends bought a 4-seater Stinson Voyager airplane, he liked to go on short "hops" to different airports in the area giving friends and family rides and showing off a little. Richard was preceded in death by his wife, the love of his life, Emma; he is survived by his sons, Richard (Dorothy) Slawson and John (Laurie) Slawson; grandchildren Gregory, Natalie, Roman, Matthew, Michael; and great-grandchildren Matthew, Claudia, Christopher and Christian; and his sisters, Betty Wilhelm, Dolores Hickey, Judy O'Connor, Doris Slawson and many nieces, nephews. Richard lived a long, interesting and a happy life. Services will be held at Holy Cross Mortuary and Cemetery at 5835 W. Slauson Ave., Culver City, on Saturday, September 14, 2013 at 11:00 A.M. Visitation and Rosary will be held on Friday, September 13, 4:30 to 7:30 P.M. The telephone number is (310) 836-5500. In lieu of flowers, donations to the would be appreciated. Please sign the guestbook
at www.dailybreeze.com/obits.
Published in Daily Breeze on Sept. 11, 2013
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