William "Bill" McGrath Slawson Jr., longtime resident of Spencer, died on October 8, 2007 at home. Born in Long Beach, California on Jan. 28, 1945 to William McGrath Slawson and Evelyn Elsie Hagedorn, Bill moved to Everly with his family in 1952. He graduated from Everly High School in 1962 and entered the Air Force, where he spent four years as a radio operator, including one year in Germany. After being discharged from the service, Bill went to school at Northeast Missouri State University in Kirksville and later at the University of Nebraska at Omaha where he graduated with a bachelor's degree in sociology and pre-medicine.
Bill met Phyllis Louise Hoeppner on Aug. 5, 1977. They were married 98 days later on Nov. 11, 1977. Their first child, Mac, was born in 1979, followed by Libby in 1981, Everly in 1982, and Hank in 1984. Bill worked part-time in construction but spent most of his adult life as a full-time dad, volunteer, and friend. His children learned from the lessons he taught and the lessons he modeled: science, math, and nutrition as well as friendship, tolerance, and optimism.
In his spare time Bill enjoyed canoeing, pool, reading, writing and computing. He had a vast knowledge of many subjects and enjoyed good conversations and lively debate. Bill was always willing to help others -- whether it be a friend already or a friend in the making. He believed in the goodness of people and treated each person he was with as his best friend.
Bill is preceded in death by his parents, Bill and Evelyn Slawson, and two infant nephews.
He is survived by his wife, Phyllis; their children, Mac, Everly, and Hank, of Spencer and Libby of Berkeley, Calif.; his two brothers of Spencer and a sister of Tallahassee, Fla., and their families: Tom and Cody Slawson and their children, Matt, Chris, Cannon and Caity; Rich and Sharon Slawson and their children, Lora, James, and Lottie; and Mollie and Tony Frawley and their daughter, Becky. He is remembered by family and many friends.