On May 16, 2022, William M. Slane Sr. passed away at his home in Paso Robles, Ca. with his family around him. He was 93 years old. Bill was born on September 10, 1928, on his mother’s birthday in Schenectady, New York, to Helen (Gregoire) Slane and Mathias (Ty) Slane. His primary parenting came from his Grandparents, John and Anna Gregoire, and many aunts and uncles.
Bill had worked from a very young age which was necessary to help support the families he was living with during the depression years. He often spoke about how he would carry ice blocks and shaved ice to apartment complexes and commercial businesses as a pre-teen. He worked at the race tracks cleaning stalls and helping the horse trainers. Bill also worked for the MOB (N.Y. organized crime family) and ran the numbers and money for the bookies. He said, “his mother had the family connection, and they kept him and the family safe .”He had many stories about his mom and being part of the organized crime family.
Bill had his first introduction to religion when he was placed into the Christian Brothers Academy. This was a boarding home for young men in preparation for the priesthood and also for homeless children. He distinctly remembers the priests, the regimented routines, the school instructions, and memorizing the standard prayers of the church. He stated his grandfather enrolled him in the academy in hopes he would become a priest. Bill did not like being at the orphanage and left to live with his Aunts and Uncles.
On Bill’s 17th birthday, his grandfather (with his mother’s permission) took him to the army recruiter, where he joined the U.S. Army. After boot camp, Bill volunteered to be a paratrooper and completed Jump School and Glider Pilot training. His first assignment was with the 82nd Airborne, where he served with the security forces for the Nuremberg Trials in Germany. Returning to the United States, he was stationed in El Paso, Texas, where he met Shirley Chamberlain. One month later, they were married. His dear wife Shirley passed away on February 6, 2022, one day before their 72nd wedding anniversary. Losing her broke his heart, which contributed to his failing health and furthered his cognitive decline with dementia.
Bill had a life full of adventures serving in the military during WWII and the Korean War. In 1952, while serving in Korea, he participated with the 187th Regimental Combat Team in the hand-to-hand combat of retaking a POW camp back from the North Koreans. This was known as the POW Camp 76, at Koje-do, Korea. This is where he received his Infantry Combat Badge and various others awards associated with military responsibilities. Bill served throughout the world with the U.S. Army. This included another tour of duty in Korea and Japan and a second tour in Germany for three years with his family. After serving twenty years, he retired from the Army at Camp Roberts, California. Upon retirement, he became a Paso Robles Police Officer. He retired from the Paso Police Department and became a reserve deputy and a Senior Correctional Officer for the San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Office. He was a member of the Masonic brotherhood for over 60 years, as well as a member of the Elks and Moose Lodges.
Bill loved to dance and go to the casinos with his wife. They were both active in the community and owned several businesses, such as the Professional Ambulance Service, a Medical Supply Store, and a Food Catering Service that provided meals on different movie sets in Hollywood and locations throughout the state.
One of Bill’s proudest moments was being selected in 2013 to participate in the Honor Flight to Washington DC. He proudly wore his Honor Flight jacket every day and even asked to be buried in it. He was a proud and faithful American Veteran who deeply loved his country.
Bill is survived by his sons; Gregory W. Slane (Dawn), William M. Slane Jr. (Lynn), and Jeffrey M. Slane; 10 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren. He was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Bill will be buried with Military Honors at a private family graveside service on June 8, 2022, at the Paso Robles District Cemetery.
Arrangements were entrusted to Eddington Funeral Services, 429 Bassett St., King City, (831) 385-5400, www.EFS-Cares.com .