Richard Slack lacked a middle name. “It was supposed to be Foster after mom, but the people at the hospital forgot to write it down on my birth certificate.” Richard Slack, 73, passed away Tuesday, March 10, 2009 in Cumming, Ga., of respiratory failure at Northside Hospital-Forsyth. Per Richard’s request, there will be no service. “There is nothing that anybody can do.” Although his teeth were false, his smile was genuine—his million dollar smile—his greatest asset.
He was born December 18, 1935 in Brooklyn, to Agnes “Aggie” Sophie Foster, a registered nurse and Clarence Irving “Slim” Slack, a paint and body man. He was raised in the tiny town of Arena on the east branch of the Delaware River in the Catskill Mountains of upstate New York. The hamlet of 300 families was flooded to create the Pepacton Water Reservoir to quench the thirst of the city of New York in 1955.
Richard enlisted in the United States Navy in 1953 and served until 1958. In 1954, the Slack family—C.I., Agnes, younger brothers Ronald and Robert, relocated to West Palm Beach, Florida. Richard worked as a cable splicer for Southern Bell Telephone Company in Florida until 1963 and followed brothers Ron and Bob to Atlanta, Georgia to work at R & R Auto Parts in 1964. Richard welded ships and barges underwater, drove 18-wheelers and worked on heavy equipment. He would test the oil in an engine, like a doctor drawing blood, to determine its malfunction.
Richard was an avid fly-fisherman, gunsmith and history buff. After closing shop in Norcross, he retired to Martin Lake in Roswell, Georgia in 2004.
Richard was preceded in death by parents C.I. and Agnes Slack of West Palm Beach, Florida. His youngest brother Robert Carter Slack of Atlanta, Georgia, Cape Vincent, New York, and Milano, Italy passed on (Richard’s birthday) December 18, 2000. Bob Slack, an antiques dealer, co-founded The Great Gatsby’s Auction Gallery in 1984.
Surviving is a younger brother, retired real estate investor and former Florida football player and ultimate athlete, Arthur Ronald “Ronnie” Slack of Roswell, Georgia, Maui, Hawaii; Solitude, Utah and Cabarete, Dominican Republic; Ron Slack, an athletic scholar, created The Agnes Slack Charitable Trust, a 501 (c)3 nonprofit scholarship fund honoring his mother’s memory in 1999.
Four surviving sons include Richard Forrest “Mick” Slack of Pineville, Louisiana, Brian Keith Slack of Richmond, Virginia, Teddy Dewayne LeCroy of Ball Ground, Georgia and Ronald Carter “Robbie” Slack of Ellijay, Georgia; nephews include Robert Brett Slack of Norcross, Georgia and Cape Vincent, New York and Cary Lewis Milligan of Atlanta, Georgia, sons of late brother Bob.
Surviving grandchildren includes Sara Slack, John Slack, Zachary and Courtney Reece and Megan and Christopher Slack.
His final resting place will be the riverbank of the Chattahoochee, Roswell in “The United States of Georgia” where, “It doesn’t get any better than this. Darlin’, if I were doin’any better, you would have to bottle me up and sell me for sunshine!”
Story and photo by Nydia Pinzón Tisdale.