F.M. "Meredith" Slaughter, age 88, of Tyler, passed away in the early morning hours of Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013, at the Hospice of East Texas in Tyler.
A memorial service for Meredith will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013, at Swan-Wood Springs Methodist Church with Pastor Marion Burgess officiating. Interment will be held in a private service at the family cemetery, Smith-Eby Cemetery, on their ranch in Swan.
Born Francis Meredith Slaughter on Feb. 4, 1925, in Menard, he was the son of Jesse James and Artie Ann (Holliday) Slaughter; they preceded him in death. After graduating from Menard High School, he began his college education at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth under the V-12 Navy College Training Program. His term at TCU was interrupted by America's entry into World War II
, at which time he was sent to the Great Lakes Naval Training Center near Chicago, Ill., for Naval boot camp training, at the rank of Third Class Pharmacy Mate. Upon completion of his training, he shipped out to the Philippine Islands, where he served as a Naval Medical Corpsman for the duration of the war.
Honorably discharged in 1946, he enrolled at the University of Texas
at Austin, eventually earning a Bachelor of Science degree. On his first day at the University, he met the girl he would marry, and with whom he would spend the rest of his life, Joyce Louise Eby. Two years later, on June 4, 1948, they were married in a ceremony in Tyler. Joyce and Meredith would make their home in Tyler, and his family grew to five, with the birth of three children in the 1950s: Luane, Steve and Elisa. Meredith and his family made their home a ranch outside of Tyler, near Swan. For many years he served as manager of the family business, Eby Engineering Company in Tyler, which offered mapping and land surveying services. After the company's closing in the 1960s, he and his family successfully operated a hay and cattle business on his ranch. Among his many endeavors and achievements, Meredith held a private pilot's license, he was a licensed auctioneer, a trained and expert welder, a skilled carpenter and a cabinet maker. His building expertise was put to full use when he personally built a new home for his family in 1968, complete with custom built-ins and cabinets. He was also a talented musician, and in his younger years enjoyed playing the tenor saxophone and was an entertaining tap dancer.
Meredith was always active in his church and dutifully took on many responsibilities at Swan–Wood Springs Methodist Church in Swan. For a time, he served simultaneously as both charge lay leader and Sunday school superintendent. At other times he served his church as a Sunday school teacher, church board trustee, lay minister, was active in the church's visitation ministry and led the congregational chorus every Sunday night for many years.
During his later retirement years, health problems took their toll as he dealt with diabetes, congestive heart failure, and the complications associated with both conditions. In spite of these problems, he tirelessly gave of himself, never declining the chance to help his friends, neighbors, church members and especially his family, whenever and with whatever was asked of him. Meredith was preceded in death by his parents, Jesse and Artie Ann Slaughter; also by a brother, Conway Slaughter. A dedicated husband and loving father, he is survived by his beloved wife of 65 years, Joyce Louise Slaughter. He is also survived by daughter, Luane Chancellor; daughter and son-in-law, Elisa Nicholson and husband Brent Nicholson; son and daughter-in-law, Steve Slaughter and wife Pam Slaughter; and granddaughter, Amanda Slaughter, all living in Tyler.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Hospice of East Texas Foundation, 4111 University Blvd., Tyler, 75701.