John F. Slayton, of Bellingham, formerly of Wayland, died peacefully, surrounded by his family, on May 4 at UMass Memorial Hospital in Worcester after a long and courageous battle with cancer. He was 85 years old.
John had long-time special ties with the Island and fond memories of summers in Katama, beachcombing, arrowhead hunting up-Island, and always enjoyed an informal tennis match at the local court. Family get-togethers were the highlight of his many Island visits. He loved a bowl of chowder and some good conversation at Linda Jean’s and felt particularly sentimental about the family’s annual tradition of a Menemsha sunset dinner at the Home Port. An avid bird watcher, he never ceased to be amazed and awed by the variety and beauty of our Island bird life and habitat; he felt a special affection for the majestic osprey.
John was the son of the late Ralph and Ruth Slayton of Melrose and Weston, the beloved and devoted father of Beverly Slayton and her husband, Karl Heinemann, of Acton, Stephanie Gazell and her husband, Thomas, of Watertown, Thomas and his wife, Cynthia, of Medway, Heather Anne of West Tisbury, Meredith and her partner, Marc Street, of Oak Bluffs and Wellington, Fla., and Andrew and his wife, Elyse, of Denver, Colo. He was the proud grandfather of John Thomas (Jack), Michael, Willson, and Lindsey Slayton, and Liam Street. He was the loving brother of Hawley and his wife, MaryAnn Slayton, of Sparks, Nevada. He is also survived by the mothers of his children, and close friends, Elizabeth Slayton and Marsha Slayton, and many nieces and nephews.
John was raised in Weston and graduated from Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, N.H. He attended Dartmouth College and Boston University. A World War II veteran, he was proud to serve as a United States Marine Corps aviator in the Pacific theater, achieving the rank of Sergeant.
John lived and raised his family in Wayland, and he was employed for over 30 years at the New England Deaconess Hospital in Boston as night administrator. He had an extraordinary fascination with the natural world in all forms, and with books, history, and poetry. John shared a deep love with his six children, five grandchildren, and extended family, and his acts of kindness reached well beyond usual boundaries, to people from all walks of life. To meet him was to make a friend.
Services and interment are private and a celebration of Mr. Slayton’s life will be held at a future date.
The family suggests donations in his memory be made to the Paralyzed Veterans of America, at PVA Donation Processing Center, 7 Mill Brook Road, Wilton, NH 03086 (www.pva.org).
Arrangements and online condolences courtesy of Ginley Crowley Funeral home in Medway, ginleyfuneralhomes.com.