F. M. "Meredith" Slaughter, age 88, of Tyler, passed away in the early morning hours of Saturday, August 24, 2013 at the Hospice of East Texas in Tyler.
A memorial service for Meredith will be held at 10:00 A.M., Thursday, August 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 February 4, 1925 in Menard, Texas, 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 Ft. Worth, TX, 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, Illinois for Naval boot camp training, at the rank of 3rd 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 1950's: 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 1960's, 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. 4111 University Blvd. Tyler, TX 75701