CHANUTE — William Slane, 95, of Chanute passed away Sunday, December 18, 2011, at Guest Home Estates II in Chanute, surrounded by his family.
He was born August 31, 1916, in Chanute the son of Alva and Hazel Slane. On June 6, 1942, he married Dorothy L. Smith of South Mound while he was serving in the Navy in San Diego, Calif., during World War II. They celebrated their 69th year of marriage this past summer.
Bill graduated from Chanute High School as a member of the National Honor Society in 1934. He hoped to follow in the footsteps of his Father and Grandfather by applying for a job with the United States Postal Service; however his Dad, Alva Slane, died at the age of 44, the year Bill graduated from high school. Bill went to work in the office of Ash Grove to help support his Mother.
After six years at Ash Grove, Bill was hired to work for the U.S. Postal Service. He carried mail for one year, before joining the U.S. Navy during WWII. Upon returning to Chanute, following the war, he continued to carry mail for the U.S. Postal Service for 30 years; retiring in 1971.
During his time with the Postal Service, Bill obtained degrees in accounting and income tax, from LaSalle University. Following his retirement from the Postal Service, Bill went to work in the office of Churchill Pumping Units; retiring from Churchill after 10 years of service. He also prepared income tax returns for individuals until the past few years.
Following his years with Churchill, he continued to take course work at Neosho County Community College, graduating with his Associates Degree in Applied Science, at the age of 73. A highlight for Bill was receiving his diploma from U.S. Senator Nancy Kassebaum.
Music was a big part of his life, as he played the trumpet in many dance bands, and was a bugler for the American Legion. He also sang tenor as a member of the First United Methodist Church Choir, the St. Cecelia Choir and sang Barber Shop with the Southeast Shavers for many years.
Bill was also active in Boy Scouts throughout his life. Throughout his time as an Eagle Scout, he traveled to many scouting events, including Camp Cauble and Philmont, N.M. In 1937, he attended the first ever National Boy Scout Jamboree in Washington, D.C. While at the Jamboree, he met President and Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt, as well as renowned scout leader Dan Beard. As an adult, he was a Boy Scout leader for many years, earning many awards including the prestigious Silver Beaver Award.
In retirement, Bill and Dorothy enjoyed traveling throughout the continental United States, as well as taking trips to London, Alaska, Hawaii and visiting Slane Castle in Ireland.
Bill was also very active in several organizations until the last few years, including the American Legion, Rotary, the Safari Museum, the American Red Cross and both the Chanute and Allen County Historical Societies.
He is preceded in death by his father, Alva Slane; mother, Hazel Slane; and brother, Kenneth Slane, who was killed training B-25 Bomber pilots in World War II.
He is survived by his wife, Dorothy Slane; son Dan (Dorie) Slane, Chanute; daughter Nancy (Wayne) Washburn, Liberty, Mo.; and son Stephen (Tamara) Slane, Chanute. Six grandchildren, Jenny (Eric) Duld, Lenexa, KS; Lori (Ryan) Dermody, Bishop, Calif.; Jeff Slane, Pittsburg, KS; Amy Slane, Pittsburg, KS; Matt Washburn, Austin, Texas; Mitch Washburn, Austin, Texas; and three great-grandchildren, John Duld and Hunter and Reagan Dermody.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Thursday, December 22, 2011, at the First United Methodist Church in Chanute. Burial will follow in Elmwood Cemetery.
The family will receive friends on Wednesday, December 21, 2011, from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the Penwell-Gabel Johnson Chapel.
Memorials in his name may be made to the St. Cecelia Scholarship Fund or Boy Scout Troop 71 or Boy Scout Troop 100 and may be left with the funeral home.
Penwell-Gabel Johnson Chapel is in charge of arrangements.
To leave a special message for the family on-line, visit www.PenwellGabelChanute.com.