JAMES F. SLATER, age 93, of Worthington, died Saturday, March 11, 2023, at the Sunset Hospice Cottage in Worthington. He was born November 30, 1929, in Wilmont, to Henry and Lena (Balster) Slater. He was raised on the family farm, homesteaded by his grandfather and lived there all of his active farming years. Jim attended Our Lady of Good Counsel School, in Wilmont, where he played basketball. As a young boy, he participated in Boy Scouts and attended summer camp at Lake Shetek after cultivating the corn. As a young man, Jim was in an automobile accident, landing him in the hospital for seventy days in traction. A young gal by the name of Mary was his nurse’s aid. Upon his discharge from the hospital, he asked Mary for a date. As they say, the rest is history.
Jim married Mary Apel on November 21, 1951 at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Wilmont. To this union two daughters were born, Barbara (1952) and Vickie (1953). They were married for sixty nine years. During the last five years of Mary’s life, Jim was her caregiver.
During his adult years, Jim served on many boards including the Bank, Wilmont Elevator, Wilmont Recreation, Lions Club and Booster Club. Jim took part in Wilmont's Celebrations, including building floats, riding the bathtub on wheels in the parades and the famous bed races. His activities included softball, bowling, golfing and traveling. He really enjoyed fishing with friends and introducing young kids to the sport of fishing. When family and friends were in need of support, Jim was always there.
Jim & Mary lived for sixty three years on the family farm near Wilmont. They built a home in Worthington after they retired and became members of St. Mary Catholic Church in Worthington. Jim continued his community activities by delivering Meals on Wheels and helping with the Christmas Basket Program. In 2020, Jim & Mary moved to The Meadows. He enjoyed socializing during meals, participating in the activities provided, and helped maintain the flower garden. Jim's mobility scooter, by way of the bike/walking path, provided him many hours of entertainment. Visiting the golf course, the Nook, Lake Okabena and Centennial Park were the highlights of these excursions.
Jim is survived by his two daughters, Barbara (Rich Froiland) Rokahr, Ralston, NE; and Vickie (Steve) Menke, North Mankato; grandchildren, Jennifer (Nate) Skalsky, Laura (Ian) Heritage, Kori Rokahr and Shane Rokahr; eight great-grandchildren; a sister-in-law, Minnie Apel; and many nieces & nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Henry, Lena and step-mother, Gen; wife, Mary on July 11, 2020; an infant daughter; and siblings, Ray Slater, Esther Becker, Arlene Schlichte, Marie Schutz, Tom Slater and Joan Slater.
Visitation will be Friday, March 17, from 4-7 pm at the Dingmann Funeral Home in Worthington; and also one hour prior to the service at the church on Saturday. Funeral Mass will be 10:30 am Saturday at Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church in Wilmont. Burial will be 2 pm Saturday at the Garden of Memories Cemetery in Worthington.
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