Dr. F. David Slagle
Dr. F. David Slagle, 71, of Hayesville, passed away peacefully Thursday, March 1, 2018, at Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga, Tenn., surrounded by family and friends.
Born in Sylva on Jan. 8, 1947, to Alice Davis Slagle and the late John Robert Slagle, David was the youngest of three children. He spent the majority of his early years in Andrews and Nantahala, where his father worked as foreman for Nantahala Power Co., while his mother worked as office manager for Berkshire International.
David graduated from Andrews High School in 1965, where he made many fond memories on the football field, basketball court and baseball diamond. Voted “Most Athletic” by his senior class, David spoke often of the 1964 Andrews football team, which he helped lead to an undefeated season as quarterback and co-captain.
Active in the classroom and community as well, David was recognized throughout his early life for his generosity, quick wit and intelligence.
In the fall of 1965, David left for Lenoir-Rhyne College, where he enjoyed meeting new friends from around the country. David joined Theta Chi fraternity, which he served as treasurer, and joined fraternity brothers in coaching and officiating youth sports teams, an endeavor that combined his love of athletics with his servant’s heart. Members of Theta Chi recall David’s kind-hearted nature, love of ping pong and adventurous spirit on ski trips to Boone.
It was on a trip to Boone in 1967 that David reconnected with the former Patricia Guffey of Andrews. Their initial affection blossomed into a deep and abiding love, and Patricia transferred from Appalachian State Teacher’s College to Lenoir-Rhyne in 1968. David proposed a few months later, and after graduating from Lenoir-Rhyne, the pair were married in Andrews on Dec. 27, 1969. They would go on to spend the next 48 years of their lives together growing in their love, respect and friendship.
David and Patricia spent their first year of married life in Pensacola, Fla., where David completed Naval Officer Candidate School and began training as a Naval aviator. With the Vietnam War winding down, David was honorably discharged in 1970, and the couple moved back to North Carolina, where they lived and worked for a year in Salisbury before the mountains called them home.
David would spend the rest of his life in the region he most loved. In 1972, he began working at Tri-County Community College in Peachtree, where he would go on to serve in multiple roles, including dean of continuing education, interim president and vice president of research and development. He earned his master’s degree in education from Western Carolina University in 1974 and his doctorate degree in education from Clemson University in 1993. David loved spending time with Patricia during the many trips back and forth to Western and Clemson while they each pursued their graduate degrees. Any spare moments he had during this period were spent at Andrews Florist & Gift Shop, which he and Patricia owned for 13 years.
Outside of work, David was deeply involved with the community, serving on numerous committees and boards, including the State Employees Credit Union, but he devoted most of his time to family and faith. He was an active member of Truett Memorial First Baptist Church, where he worshiped for 28 years and served multiple terms as an ordained deacon. He also was a former member and deacon of Andrews First Baptist, where many friends and family members still attend.
David loved to spend time outside, whether camping with his family, water-skiing on the lake, playing golf or simply working in the yard. David developed an impressive vegetable garden and may have enjoyed giving the harvest away to family and friends more than anything. David also had a particular knack for recalling odd facts and figures, and he won nearly every game of Trivial Pursuit he played or any of the local radio station trivia contests, often as an anonymous caller.
Above all else, David enjoyed spending time with his family. He was an ever-present figure in the lives of each of his children, rarely missing a ballgame, ballet performance or piano recital. He coached baseball and basketball teams for his children, drove countless miles to practices and games and went out of his way to make each of his children feel loved, encouraged and appreciated. David never met a stranger, and he talked about his children with pride.
David was a beloved son, husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, cousin and friend. In addition to his wife, Patricia, he is survived by his mother, Alice Davis Slagle of Andrews; his children, Alexis Slagle Gilroy (Bill) of Annapolis, Maryland, Wes Slagle (Jaclyn) of Atlanta and Kattie Slagle Hoy (Neil) of Mary Esther, Fla.; and seven grandchildren, Aiden and Hunter Gilroy, Tucker, Henry and Caroline Slagle, and Mox and Lucy Hoy. He also is survived by his brother, Bob Slagle of Winchester, Tenn., and his sister, Terry Slagle May (Doug), of Horse Shoe; many nieces, nephews and cousins; and a host of friends scattered around the world.
The family received friends from 6-8 p.m. Sunday, March 4, at Truett Memorial First Baptist Church in Hayesville. The memorial service celebrating David’s life was held at 11 a.m. Monday, March 5, at Truett with the Rev. Johnny Foster and the Rev. Dr. William Gilroy, officiating. Burial followed at Greenlawn Memorial in Peachtree. David’s family will forever be grateful for the outpouring of love and kindness received over the past several months, particularly for the genuine compassion and grace shown by the staff at Hayesville House.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Hayesville House, where plans are underway for an outdoor walking area for residents in memory of David.
You may send tributes to the Slagle family at www.townson-rose.com.
Townson-Rose Funeral Home is in charge of all arrangements.