Vernon Slichter, 96, was born to Kate and A. L Slichter in Grangeville on Sept. 23, 1917. He passed away on Dec. 18, 2013, at the Good Samaritan Care Center in Spokane Valley. His older siblings, all of Grangeville, were Ward, Hallie, Clarissa (Aunt Kissy) and Samuel. Incidents he recalled from childhood painted a picture of the late 1920’s Grangeville and included the time the local hearse was reconstructed on top of Grangeville School and early attempts at driving a Model T Ford. As a Boy Scout he continued on to Eagle Scout, only to be unable to complete the requirements due to Grangeville’s lack of a swimming pool and there were no exceptions for biking to and swimming in Tolo Lake.
Upon graduation from Grangeville High School in 1935 he attended Washington State (then) College for two years and the University of Idaho for two years. Interested in aviation, he then went to aviation mechanics school in Glendale, Calif., before America was drawn into WWII. He was drafted into the Army in California in March, 1941.
In 1942 he married Marge McCargar in the Episcopal Church in Grangeville. In April, 2013 they celebrated their 71st wedding anniversary. Their honeymoon trip was traveling to California where he was stationed at Camp Callan. Following a series of promotions he then achieved the rank of warrant officer and was attached to the 531st Anti-Aircraft Battalion. Vernon and Marge were next stationed on the east coast and from there he was sent to the battlefields in Europe, landing first at Omaha Beach on D-Day plus 9. He was ultimately awarded the Bronze Star for “his efficiency and devotion to duty” during the Battle of the Bulge and in the Allied liberation of France and Belgium. Months after the end of the war in Europe he received his discharge and returned to his family in Grangeville.
He opened the Men’s Clothing Store in the Blue Fox Theater Building. In 1954 he and his family moved to Los Angeles so he could attend an Electronics Engineering School. The following year they moved to Opportunity, Wash., where he opened Valley TV Sales and Service store in 1955, and served the valley for 30 years. After his retirement Vernon and Marge took many interesting trips to Europe and into Russia.
Throughout his life he was an ardent WSU Cougar fan with season football tickets for many years and attended many of WSU’s bowl games with his family. Always the inquisitive mind, he was as informed about current events as he was curious about outer space. His interest in outer space led to many nights of stargazing with his telescope and he was a member of the Spokane Astronomical Association.
He was active in local politics and served on the Incorporation Steering Committee for the campaign that ultimately led to the creation of the City of Spokane Valley.
He loved cats and for many years the family was never without one or two who were his constant companions.
Vemon is survived by his wife, Marge of Spokane Valley; daughters, Sandra of Kirkland, Wash., Susan Button (Rick) of Woodinville, Wash.; grandson, Chris Bartell (Lindy); and great-grandsons, Josiah and Michael of Portland, Ore.; grandson, Ben Bartell (Jenna); and granddaughters, Kaila and Alexa of Bellevue. Wash.; nieces, Kathleen Vopat (Jim) of Grangeville, Karen Homewood (Robert) of Brookeville, Md., Jerrine Schilling of Bradenton, Fla.; many nephews; and special family friends, Gayle and Jim Williams of Spokane Valley.
Graveside services were held Dec. 23 at Prairie View Cemetery, Grangeville. Services were under the direction of Blackmer Funeral Home, Grangeville.