Donald G. Slater


Donald G. Slater, 84, of Martinsville, Ill., passed away April 1, 2019, at the Gibson Family Hospice Center in Terre Haute, Ind. He was brown in Martinsville to Russell Slater and Catherine Hall Slater on Sept. 28, 1934. He married Rose Marie Hemminghouse on June 8, 1957, in Terre Haute, Ind., at St. Joseph's Catholic Church. He graduated from Martinsville High School in 1954.
In 1960 he was transferred to Paducah, Ky., to work on the Pennyrile Parkway and other jobs between there and the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Around 1969, he received a phone call from an uncle inviting him to come work in Jamaica. The only stipulation was that he cut his "hippie" hair; he left within two days.
Don discovered he enjoyed living and working abroad. They then relocated to the Ivory Coast, Africa, for three years. They lived 450 miles into the bush in the Sahara and the border of Mali in the village of Ferkess├ędougou. They lived among the Senefu Tribe, which was the last cannibalistic tribe in Ivory Coast.
One Christmas they spent in the Canary Islands and Morocco as a break from the Sahara heat, except for Morocco.
Upon leaving Africa, Don felt he deserved a vacation before coming back to the States. They traveled to Geneva, Switzerland, and toured Europe.
Don came back to the States in 1980 and went to work at the Disney complex. He laid the pipework for Epcot Center and then supervised the building of the canal; and then on to Houston, working on the expansion of the Anheuser-Busch plant. When that finished, he returned to the Midwest and worked for General Motors on a rebuild of part of the van plant, and then for Saturn doing the pipework for the new plant in Franklin, Tenn. He stopped next in South Carolina and then to Los Angeles. He was in L.A. for 11┬Ż years doing the groundwork and pipework, and supervising the interior finishing work at a penitentiary.
In 1994 they returned to Terre Haute. Don went to work for the Housing Authority, retiring in 2001.
Don enjoyed woodworking, hunting, fishing and puttering on the farm. He was a lover of animals his entire life. He had a dog that met him whenever he went to the farm and cats at his home in town. Don also fulfilled his civic duty; he was elected alderman in 2008, and was co-chair of the National Road Festival Committee.
Don was a 53-year member of the Brothers of the Woods, 32nd degree Mason of the Martinsville Masonic Lodge. He was also a lifetime participant and supporter of 4-H. He left a lot of friends wherever he and Rose traveled. He leaves behind his wife, Rose; and his beloved and nieces and nephews who were like his own children; along with the many friends he made during his travels.
There will be a celebration of life at the Martinsville Community Center April 28, 2019, at noon, for friends and family. Food will be served, so come and help us celebrate a good man.
Published on April 12, 2019
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