Cleo Slinker

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  • "Cleo was my Sunday School teacher, but better than that,..."
    - Janet Truesdell Franklin
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Cleo D. Slinker
January 12,1919 - November 11,2016
Cleo Darlene Slinker [nee Thompson] of Caldwell died on November 11, 2016 of natural causes at age 97. She was born January 12, 1919 in Nebraska and spent her early life there. Following her graduation from Pierce High School, Cleo planned to be a school teacher; but her life would ultimately take a very different path.
As a single mother with four young children, in the 1940s, Cleo worked at various jobs to keep her family fed and a roof over their heads. In the early 1950s, her little sister convinced her that a move to Idaho would be the right "next step" in her life. Little did she know that move would eventually bring her into contact with a handsome Wilder farmer nicknamed Bus. Bus and Cleo were married on November 2, 1952 and lived in and around the Wilder area for the rest of their lives, celebrating 50 years of marriage before Bus died in the spring of 2003.
A member of the Wilder United Methodist Church, Cleo was involved in many church activities and loved to sing in the choir. United Methodist Women and "sewing club" gatherings were among her favorite things to do. A very "crafty" individual, countless friends and family members benefited from her gift for sewing, including cheerleader outfits for Wilder cheerleaders and intricately designed wedding dresses. She knitted afghans for virtually every family member over several decades and learned quilting, macramé, plaster casting, and copper tooling. Cleo enjoyed growing and arranging flowers and provided lovely bouquets for the church alter over the years. She also worked for many years, and retired, as a clerk at the Wilder Market, where she thoroughly enjoyed being in the heart of the community on a daily basis.
With a great group of local gals, Cleo enjoyed participating on a line dancing team well into her 70s. She and Bus played pinochle regularly, with both family members and friends. Family was important to Cleo, and she was very proud of the lifetime accomplishments of all six of her children.
Cleo is survived by her children Thelma Kirstine Ekart of Caldwell, Idaho; Ron Kirstine (Jan) of Walla Walla, Washington; Monte Kirstine (Judy) of Wilder, Idaho; Maynard Kirstine (Mary) of Garden Valley, Idaho; Bryan Slinker (Kathy) of Pullman, Washington; Gretchen Slinker Jones (Danny) of Chewelah, Washington and numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, Jesse and Pearl Thompson; brothers Euell and Dallas; sister Euveda Hamilton; husband John (Bus) Slinker, grandson Michael Driskell, and great-great grandson Gage Driskell.
The memorial service will be Saturday, November 26 at 2:00 p.m. at the Flahiff Funeral Chapel in Caldwell, with a reception following the service. Memorial donations may be made to the United Methodist Church in Wilder, Idaho. Condolences may be made at flahifffuneralchapel.com

Funeral Home
Flahiff Funeral Chapels - Caldwell Chapel
624 Cleveland Boulevard
Caldwell, ID 83606
(208) 459-0833
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Published in Idaho Press Tribune on Nov. 16, 2016