John Robert Slater

October 2, 1930 ~ October 1, 2022 (age 91) 91 Years Old


John Robert Slater passed away on October 1, 2022, at age of 91.  He was born on October 2, 1930, to Otis and Margaret Slater and live in Yancy, Texas.

He was a 1948 Devine High School graduate and a 1951 Texas A & I University graduate with a Bachelor in Agricultural Education. He earned a master’s degree in Administration in 1963. He was married to Martha Leary on June 30, 1951. John began his teaching career as an instructor for 7 months in the Veterans Ag Program in Alice, Texas. In 1952 he began teaching Agriculture Education in Killeen, Texas.

The move of a lifetime occurred in June 1956. John, his wife and three children moved to Orange Grove to be the agriculture teacher. From then until his retirement in 1987, John held the positions as ag teacher, junior high principal, high school principal and superintendent. John also was made a lifelong member by the Texas Association of School Administrators. He was very active in the Jim Wells County Fair for over 50 years. He never missed going to the fair ground to work in the swine barn. He was the Swine Barn Superintendent for many years as well as the Jim Wells County Fair Association President. John was always there to help, especially with the 4-H and the FFA students with their projects. His leadership and advice given to them was enormous. He was a 1960 charter member of the Orange Grove 4-H /FFA Boosters Club.

John served as President and Director of the Orange Grove Co-op. He served several years on the city’s Board of Aldermen and was a member of the Jim Wells County Appraisal District Board.  John was very devoted to his church, St John of the Cross Catholic Church. He was a charter member of the St. John of the Cross Catholic Church Council. At St Pius X Catholic Church in Sandia, Texas, he served as Chairman of the Council. Being a strong leader, he was one of those who could get people behind him, get things done and when he spoke everyone listened.

After retiring from the school, John then began his second career as a rancher. John ran cattle with Charles Houlihan. Afterward he managed the Worsham Ranch and then in 1997 for Bernie De Laune.  Always a cowboy at heart, an avid reader of westerns novels, and born a generation too late, he was the happiest when he was on a horse and working cattle. He cared for the cattle and the quail at Bernie’s ranch as if it was his own. Every day he looked forward to getting up to go to the ranch. He worked from day light to dark. He liked to say he worked from “can to can’t.”  Everyone admired him for working so hard at his age, but he loved every minute of it. He finally retired around the age of 86. Along with his many talents, he was a great storyteller and love to spin yarns with just enough truths that the grandkids never knew whether to believe him or not. He loved to play dominoes and poker.

He is preceded in death by his wife, Martha Slater to whom he was married just short of 70 years.

He is survived by his five children, Randy (Eileen) Slater; Donald (Amanda) Slater; Kathy Slater; Allen (Victoria) Slater; Nancy Slater (Kevin)Oswald. He has five grandchildren and two great grandchildren, Amy Slater (Andrew) Cook, Caitlin Slater (Channing) Williford, Cassandra McAden (Jeff Altenbern), Karl (Jenny) Slater, Casey (Rick) Oswald Jewell, Jessica Oswald; great-grandchildren, Jace Cook and Nova Altenbern.

A Visitation will be held from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM on Friday, October 7, 2022 with a Holy Rosary will be recited at 7:00 PM at Holmgreen Mortuary, 2061 E. Main St., Alice, Texas. A Funeral Mass to be celebrated at 1:00 PM on Saturday, October 8, 2022 at St. John of the Cross Catholic Church in Orange Grove, Texas Celebrant Father Patrick Donahoe.  Rites of Christian Burial will follow at St. John of the Cross Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family request donations be made to Jim Wells County Fair Association, P.O. Box 3664 Alice, Tx 78333 in memoriam of John R. Slater.

Arrangements are entrusted to Holmgreen Mortuary, 2061 East Main Street, Alice, Texas.

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October 7, 2022

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Holmgreen Mortuary
2061 E. Main
Alice, TX 78332

Holy Rosary
October 7, 2022

7:00 PM
Holmgreen Mortuary
2061 E. Main
Alice, TX 78332

Funeral Mass
October 8, 2022

12:00 PM
St. John of the Cross Catholic Church (Orange Grove, Texas)

October 8, 2022

St. John of the Cross Catholic Cemetery
Corner of CR 374 & CR 351
Orange Grove, TX 78372


Jim Wells County Fair Association
I P.O. Box 3664, Alice TX 78333


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