Leon slipped quietly away on March 12, 2020, at his home with the love of his family surrounding him. Pancreatic cancer and chemotherapy took its toll and finally released him to God.
Leon was born March 9, 1949, to Samuel L. Slichter and Melva (Lanningham) Slichter in Grangeville, Idaho. He attended Grangeville Elementary through the sixth grade and transferred to Prairie Elementary and graduated from Prairie High School, in Cottonwood, Idaho, in 1966. He married Sheryl Ann Currin on December 28, 1968, at St. Mary' s Catholic Church in Cottonwood.
Being raised on the small family ranch southwest of Grangeville, he always stayed a cattleman and "cowboy", his lifelong dream. He enjoyed raising his herd of horned Hereford cattle and riding his "hoss" from the ranch Remuda of 16.
At the age of 18, Leon began his horseshoeing career first as a young cowhand, then later for the rest of his horse friends across the county. He worked on 900 horses the year he was 50 and retired from shoeing ten years later. He still enjoyed shoeing his own horses up until last year.
Being a horseshoer kept him very busy, along with the ranch chores he always enjoyed. In addition, he spent more than 20 years with the Idaho County Weed Control as a "professional herbicide applicator – “weed warrior”. He truly enjoyed trying to protect and preserve his Salmon and Snake River canyons.
Leon's life was full as he was also involved in and a member of Sts.
Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Knights of Columbus, past president of SPP Home and School Association, 4H Leader of Fenn Livestock Club for 13 years, past president of Idaho County Cattle Association, Idaho State Soil and Water Conservation Commission in Boise, Idaho, County Soil and Water Conservation Board for 25 years and Board of Directors of the Idaho State Cattle Association.
Leon did his best to truly enjoy life with some of his favorites:
color blue, his palomino horse "Peso" and blue merle stock dog, "Silver”. His favorite song was "Danny Boy", the singer Rex Allen, Sr., the movie
"The Quiet Man" and the scripture - Psa1m 24.
Special highlights in his life were his backcountry horseback hunting and fishing trips with his family, and Western Cowboy poetry, especially by his friend, Baxter Black.
Leon left behind his loving family: wife, Sheryl Ann of 51 years; daughter, Maureen (Ben); three sons, Joseph (Michelle), Nicholaus (Heather) and Clancy (Becky). He was blessed with eleven grandchildren: Jessica, Connor, Maria, Kace, Wesley, Madison, Ryan, Brooklynn, McKenna and Maverick. Surviving siblings are his sister, Kathleen Vopat and brothers, Ron and Allan, and many nieces and nephews.
Leon was preceded in death by his grandaughter, Hope Terese Munger; his parents; his baby sister, Sareta; and two brothers, Larry and Jon.
A celebration of life Mass will be Saturday, March 21, 2020, at 1:30 p.m. preceded by the Rosary at 1 p.m. at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic gmynasium. The burial will be at the Holy Cross Cemetery in Keuterville, Idaho, and a private family gathering will be held later.
Arrangements are by Blackmer Funeral Home of Grangeville. If you would like to help the family, please grace St. Jude's Children's Hospital, P. O. Box, Memphis, TN 3801-0050 with your kindness.
A last thought in Leon's own words:
“When I am dead and gone, and you hang my well-worn kack, I want you to remember, I never sold my saddle,
And I never bred 'em black"
(The Man from Buzzard Mountain)
“Happy Trails to you Dad”