Howard Edmund Slagle, veteran, husband, father, brother, grandfather, great-grandfather, coach, Tusculum alumnus and athlete, died Sunday in Greeneville from cardio-pulmonary complications. He was 81.
Mr. Slagle was born July 30, 1939, in Manhattan, New York, to Dora Guthro Slagle — who immigrated from Nova Scotia, Canada — and William Hadley Slagle of Chuckey. The Slagle family moved to Long Island, New York, where Mr. Slagle’s early years were filled with adventures and experiences which were instrumental in molding his determined work ethic and entertaining personality. During his formative years, the Slagle family made regular summer trips to his father Hadley’s hometown of Chuckey, where Mr. Slagle met a young neighborhood girl, Mary Jo Solomon, who would years later become the great love of his life, wife and companion.
Mr. Slagle graduated from Mineola High School, Long Island, in 1957, where he was a standout lacrosse player and track star, once participating at the Oyster Bay Invitational and meeting Eleanor Roosevelt, who presented him with a medal.
In 1958, Mr. Slagle attended Tusculum College, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics in 1961. During his tenure at Tusculum, Mr. Slagle played varsity basketball and was a member of the cross country team. He was a life-long supporter and champion of his Alma Mater, participating in many reunions, participating in the Pioneer Club, staying in contact with classmates and was honored by Tusculum as a Golden Pioneer.
In 1961, Mr. Slagle joined the U.S. Army where he was stationed in Germany for two years being honorably discharged in 1963. Upon his return to the states, he and Ms. Solomon were married in Bay Shore, New York, and immediately settled in Greeneville where he started work with Magnavox, eventually becoming an international purchasing agent. The Slagle family grew with three daughters where Mr. Slagle was involved in every aspect of their lives including coaching various sports teams and other activities. Mr. Slagle retired from Philips/Magnavox after a more than 30-year career, whereupon, he and Mary Jo traveled extensively domestically and abroad.
He was a dedicated mentor to the Boys and Girls Club, spending countless hours, teaching young people both the game of golf and important life skills through the First Tee program. He supported the local YMCA, rarely missing a day at the facility.
Mr. Slagle was a member of Asbury United Methodist Church.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Hadley and Dora Slagle.
He is survived by his beloved wife of nearly 60 years: Mary Jo Slagle of Greeneville; his brother: Bill Slagle and his wife, Lynne, of Auburndale, Florida; his daughters: LuAnne Slagle Spurrell and her husband, Jim, of Bethesda, Maryland, Suzanne Slagle Richey of Greeneville, and Laura Slagle Cain and her husband, Jeff, of Knoxville; his grandchildren: Evan Spurrell, Megan Spurrell and her husband, Lt. Robert Winning, USN, Lane and Emily Richey, and Madeline and Jake Cain; and his great-grandchildren: Cali, Noah and Liam, and their father Zack Dunbar.
The family expressed their heartfelt thanks to all of the kind and committed EMTs, nurses and doctors who give their patients comfort, care and hope.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to Tusculum University, P.O. Box 5040, Greeneville, TN 37745.
A celebration of life service will be June 23 at 5 p.m. in Asbury United Methodist Church with visitation from 4-5 p.m. The Rev. Jerry Jones will officiate.
Honorary Pallbearers include sons-in-law: Jim Spurrell and Jeff Cain; grandson: Jake Cain; grandson-in-law: Lt. Robert Winning; Ron Metcalfe, Eddie Humphreys, Robert Venerable, Pat Shea, and Santo Cicirello, Richard Baskette, Thomas Baskette, Terry Bellamy, Kermit Justis, Bland Justis and Wayne Grabner.
Doughty-Stevens Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.