Thomas Paul Slavens
November 12, 1928 – October 21, 2019
Thomas P. Slavens died on October 21, 2019 at his home in Ann Arbor. He was born on November 12, 1928 in Cincinnati, Iowa as the fifth son of William and Rhoda Slavens. He spent his childhood at home in Cincinnati and was active in the First Christian Church in that city. He joined the U.S. Army in 1946 and became a Staff Sergeant in the Counter Intelligence Corps. Following his lifelong dream of becoming a minister he enrolled in Phillips University, a Christian Church Institution in Enid, Oklahoma. At Phillips he met the love of his life, Cora Slavens. On July 9, 1950 they were married in the First Christian Church of Eureka, Kansas. Following the ceremony, the newlyweds headed to the Alice Hotel in Wichita, Kansas. They did not want anyone in the hotel to know that they were newlyweds; they had the graffiti washed off the car and carefully left their corsage and carnation in the automobile. During their registration they noticed people smiling and waving. When they arrived at their room they looked in the mirror and saw that their hair was filled with rice. They would remain happily married for 61 years until Cora's passing. A year later they transferred to Drake University which was founded as a institution of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). He transferred to Union Theology Seminary in New York City in 1952. While in New York City he was Assistant Minister at Fourth Presbyterian Church. In 1953 they moved to Sac City, Iowa where he became the Pastor of First Christian Church. In 1954 a son, Mark Thomas was born who was the major joy of his life. In 1960 he became the librarian of the Divinity School at Drake University. In 1964 he moved his family to Ann Arbor where he received his PhD in library science. Then he became a Teaching Fellow, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor and Full Tenured Professor at the University of Michigan School of Library Science. He taught there for over forty years. He visited over fifty countries. Despite his many years of employment, his chief interest was his family: Circuit Court Judge Mark T. Slavens; daughter-in-law, Dian Slavens Treasurer of Canton; grandchildren: Damey Figura, Trinity Health; Patrick T. Slavens, United Nations; Molly Fritz, teacher; Evan Thompson, a student. He is survived by a handful of nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews, cousin and friends. A memorial visitation will be Thursday, October 24, 2019 from 3pm-8pm at Muehlig Funeral Chapel, 403 South Fourth Ave. Ann Arbor, MI 48104. A memorial service will be held Friday, October 25, 2019 at 1pm at the First Presbyterian Church of Ann Arbor 1432 Washtenaw Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48104 . Burial of ashes will follow in Forest Hill Cemetery.
- Memorial Visitation Thursday, October 24, 2019
- Memorial Service Friday, October 25, 2019
Thomas Paul Slavens
October 24, 2019
Sending my heartfelt condolences to the Slavens family. I was a caregiver for Tom and I will remember him always as a kind wonderful soul. He was a true gentleman and I will truly miss him!