John Kenneth Wilson Slater passed away after a brief illness on Thursday, March 27, 2014 at 7 p.m. at Shell Point Hospice.
He was born on Sept. 29, 1941 in Rochester, Penn., to Helen Shane and John W. Slater (both deceased). He was a graduate of Rochester High School and attended Ray-Vogue School of Design in Chicago, Ill.
John married Patricia Mosca on Feb 1, 1970. Three weeks later they moved to Ft Myers, Fla. On April 13, 1970, John and Pat began their 25 years employment with the beautiful Song of the Sea Inn, with John overlooking the grounds and maintenance, and Pat as innkeeper. When Sanibel became a City in 1974 and formed the Sanibel Police Department, John started as an auxiliary officer and rode with the sworn officers several nights a week. He attended the police academy and became a sworn officer in 1981. He worked as a road officer for several years, then moved into the Detective Division where he worked on crime scenes, property and evidence, and photography, and was honored with a commendation for perfect attendance over 25 years. He retired in April 2011 after serving over 35 well-respected years with the City of Sanibel.
John Kenneth Wilson Slater. PHOTO PROVIDED.
John became an avid sheller when he and Pat moved to Sanibel in 1970 and has continued over the years. He has a special collection of the kind of miniature shells (wenteltraps, scallops, horse conchs) that only a patient sheller would find. He loved Oldies music, enjoyed stir-fry and grouper, was an avid football and hockey fan, collected antiques, dabbled in watercolor and stained glass but excelled in photography. John and Pat bought a cottage in Bryson City in western North Carolina in 1983 and spent many wonderful vacations there. After John's retirement, he was able to enjoy being there in the summer and early fall. Over the years, he photographed the beautiful Smoky Mountains fall foliage, the beautiful summer flowers and most recently captured a fabulous photo of the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad that will be in their new GSMR brochure and website.
Since the early 2000's, John and Pat have been part of the Captiva Chapel by the Sea family. John served on the Board of Associates and looked after the preservation of the Chapel for many years. Every year, he painstakingly designed, installed, maintained, and then took down and stored the 6,000-8,000 magnificent Christmas lights at the Chapel, including the 15-foot Christmas Tree. During his years at Song of the Sea, tens of thousands would make the special trip on Christmas Eve to enjoy his three beautifully decorated Christmas trees, lighted grounds and the over 125 luminaries all set by his hand. For many years, he also decorated the tall Australian Pine Tree at the corner of Periwinkle Way and Lindgren. His work with the Christmas lights was beautiful, tasteful, and enchanting, and like the man himself, will not be forgotten.
John is survived by his wife Pat of 44 years, and his special felines Misty, McKenzie, Katie, Mozart, Angel and Dawg; sister-in-laws Mary (Greg) Burlett, Peggy (Larry) Nolder; brother-in-laws William (Sharon) Mosca, Thomas (deceased) and Vincent (Robbin) Mosca; many nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews on Pat's side; his cousins Noreen Atkatz, Jeff Swain, Megan Browne, Mark Swain, Karen Swain, Mary Ann (Harry) Sichak and their families; and special friends Jeff and Barb Molnar, and his godchildren Alison and Ian Molnar.
John will be honored at a memorial service on Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 12:15 p.m., immediately after the 11:00 a.m. service (last service of the season), at the Captiva Chapel by the Sea. John was cremated and his ashes will be placed on a special day in the cemetery of the historic Captiva Chapel by the Sea.
Memorials can be made in John's honor to the Captiva Chapel by the Sea, P.O. Box 188, Captiva, Fla., 33924 or PAWS, Inc (cat rescue) at P.O. Box 855, Sanibel, Fla., 33957.