Leland VanSlyke

Obituary
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  • "A true American hero, who I always admired. Plus, he was a..."
    - Howard Shorb
  • "I worked at Crookham company for a few years in the 80's..."
    - Carolyn Javaux
  • "I was a CPA and independent auditor of the Crookham Company..."
  • "Sorry to hear of Leland's death. I always enjoyed the..."
    - Carl Van Slyke
  • "So sorry to learn of the passing of my Caldwell High..."
    - Ralph Lawrence
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Leland Herbert Van Slyke
January 25, 1931 - July 23, 2016
Leland Herbert Van Slyke, 85 years old, of Caldwell, Idaho passed away at home Saturday, July 23 after a short illness. Leland was born January 25, 1931 in Caldwell, and was quite fond of calling himself a "Caldwell native." He was the oldest of three sons born to Herbert and Ruth Van Slyke. Leland attended grade school in Caldwell, often telling stories of keeping mice in his coat pockets to warm his hands while walking to school, and of a kind teacher who helped him draft an appropriate Christmas thank you letter to his grandmother. He graduated from Caldwell High School in 1949, and over the years enjoyed attending the many high school reunions. He attended Northwest Christian College in Eugene, OR for a short time, returning to Caldwell in 1950 to enlist in the U. S. Air Force. He completed his basic training in Texas, specialty training in radio ECM in Biloxi, MS, and his unit formation in Kansas. Leland was then stationed in Okinawa, Japan, and while flying on his 19th bombing mission over North Korea, his plane was shot down on December 30, 1952. He often commented he was one of the lucky ones - one of only four who survived to return to the U. S. He was wounded on this mission, was captured by the North Korean soldiers, and taken to a POW camp. He was repatriated in August 1953 by signature of President Eisenhower - forever one of his favorites - and returned stateside. Leland remained in contact with his military acquaintances over the years. He proudly wore his Korean War baseball cap, and was honored when the state of Idaho issued his car license plate: "POW 53." Leland was regularly surprised when strangers would notice his hat and license plate and tell him, "Thank you for your service."
Leland met Lois Elaine Judy in Caldwell once he made it home and they married in Winnemucca, NV in 1955. Together they raised four children. Leland worked for 31 years at Crookham Seed Company in various positions, eventually being promoted to comptroller, a position he fulfilled until retirement.
Leland was a member of Treasure Valley Christian Church, a past president of the Kiwanis Club, a lifetime member of the VFW, the American Legion, the Masonic Lodge, and O.E.S. He served six years on the Salvation Army Board, six years on the irrigation district board, and six years on the Grange credit union board.
Leland is survived by his wife, Lois, four children, Debra Van Slyke of Spokane WA, Steven and Elizabeth Luecker Van Slyke of Redmond WA, Judy Van Slyke of Portland OR, and Tracy Van Slyke Thompson of Evanston, WY, five grandchildren, three great grandchildren, one brother, Milton Van Slyke of Annandale VA, and several nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents, Herbert and Ruth Van Slyke and his youngest brother, Delbert Van Slyke.
A memorial service will be held at Dakan Funeral Chapel on Friday, August 5, at 11:00 a.m. The family suggests that in lieu of flowers, memorials be made to the Museum of Flight, 9404 E. Marginal Way South, Seattle, WA 98108-4097, or a .

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Funeral Home
Dakan Funeral Chapel
504 South Kimball Avenue
Caldwell, ID 83605
(208) 459-3629
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Published in Idaho Press Tribune on July 31, 2016
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