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W. Karl Slack

W. Karl Slack

W. Karl Slack


May 4, 1923 - April 1, 2018


Karl Slack went to be with his Lord and Savior on Easter Sunday, April 1, 2018. He was at home with his daughter at his side. He had been in declining health since the passing of his wife the prior May.


Karl was born May 4, 1923 in Ashland, Oregon to Lynn and Jessie Slack. He attended schools in Ashland before graduating from Talent High School. While growing up, Karl worked in the woods with his brother, Bill. He enjoyed the great outdoors, where he hiked, hunted, and fished much of his life.


He left the Rogue Valley to be a welder on the Liberty ships being built in Portland for a short time before enlisting in the Army Air Corps during World War II. He was a flight engineer on a B-26 bomber based in France in early 1945. His plane was shot down on Valentine’s Day. He was credited with saving a fellow crew member who did not realize the plane was going down. Fortunately, he parachuted into an area controlled by U.S. Army troops and was returned to his base. He enjoyed an opportunity to spend time in Paris before being returned to the U.S. after the end of the war in Europe. Until the last few years, he faithfully attended reunions of his surviving crew members.


After the war, Karl worked in various sawmills in Southern Oregon before starting a career with what was then 1st National Bank of Oregon (now Wells Fargo) in Ashland. He worked his way up to be a branch manager in Port Orford and then Phoenix, Oregon. He retired early so that he and his wife, Helen Jane, could travel and enjoy their later years. They were very active at the Ashland Church of Christ before moving in 2010 to Pioneer Village in Jacksonville.


Karl was preceded in death by his wife of 58 years, Helen Jane; his son, Lynn Ray; his brother, Bill; his mother, Jessie; and his father, Lynn. He is survived by his daughter, Mara Brodeur (Robert); his stepdaughter, Kandy Lockard (Steve); and his stepson, Craig Korthase (Karen). He is also survived by five grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.


A celebration of Karl’s life will be held April 16, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. in the Bistro at Pioneer Village, 805 N. 5th St., Jacksonville, OR. The family has requested that gifts be made to The Wounded Warrior Project in lieu of flowers.

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