Lowell “Slats” Edward Slayton

Posted in

Mass of Christian Burial for Lowell “Slats” Slayton, 89 year old long time Buffalo resident who passed away Wednesday at the Memorial Hospital in Sheridan, will be celebrated Saturday, October 12th at 10:00 a.m. from the St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Buffalo with Father Pete Johnson as Celebrant. A vigil service will be held and the Rosary recited on Friday at 6:00 from the Harness Funeral Home Chapel in Buffalo. Interment will be in Willow Grove Cemetery with Military graveside services to follow the Mass. Visitation will be Friday, from 1:00 to 9:00 p.m. from the Harness Funeral Home chapel, a full obituary can be read at www. harnessfuneralhome.com.
Lowell Edward “Slats” Slayton was born on October 30, 1923 in Valley City, North Dakota to Iver and Christine Slayton. He grew up and went to school in North Dakota and graduated from Fargo high school in 1941. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps in October of 1942 and attended gunnery school in Las Vegas, Nevada. He shipped out to Ridgewell, England and was a B-17 tail gunner with the 381st Division, 533rd bomb group. His plane was shot down on February 22, 1944, crash landing in Germany behind enemy lines. He became a prisoner of war and spent 14 months in captivity, three of which were on the Black Hunger March. On that March, Slats was near death when he and Ray Buzion, a fellow prisoner, escaped from the group and buried themselves in leaves listening for the dogs. The search group walked right by them, and when it was clear, they walked for three days before being picked up by British soldiers in American tanks. A British Lieutenant asked him if he wanted to contact home, which he did, writing to his mother, “I am now a free man”. A book on Slats' war experience is soon to be published. After the war, he returned to North Dakota where he attended college and received a B.S. Degree in Accounting. After college, he moved to Billings, Montana where he worked for a short time before relocating to Buffalo, Wyoming, where he worked as a mechanic. He was married on January 14, 1956 in Buffalo to Zella Pelloux. They made their home in Buffalo, where Slats took a job with the First National Bank. He worked for the 1st National for 40 years, retiring in 1985. He continued to work for the bank after retirement, doing repossessions. Slats and Zella lived in Buffalo until 2013 when they both moved to Mountain View Living Center at the Sheridan V.A.
He was an active member of The St. John the Baptist Catholic Church where he was a commentator and a member of the Knights of Columbus. Slats was active in the Buffalo Kiwanis Club and the Buffalo Golf Club. He was an avid golfer and was instrumental in building the ball fields in Buffalo.
He is survived by his wife Zella of the Mountain View Living Center at the V.A. in Sheridan; one son, David Slayton of Dallas, Texas; three daughters: Mary Sullivan and her husband Joe of Fort Wayne, Indiana, Paula Beemer and her husband David of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Theresa Jackson of Wickenburg, Arizona; four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, four brothers and one sister.