He was born May 20, 1921, in Pittsburg to Dewey E. and Reba M. (File) Slagle. He graduated from Pittsburg High School in 1939 and attended Pittsburg State University. During World War II he served in the United States Army Air Corps and was in New Caledonia, Guadalcanal, New Guinea, Biak, Philippines, and Okinawa. His job while serving on active duty was to repair aerial cameras. He received numerous awards and decorations during his wartime service.
On June 14, 1942, he married Colleen Hankins in the First United Methodist Church in Pittsburg. They recently observed 68 years of marriage. They moved to Parsons from Pittsburg in 1970.
While living in Pittsburg Don worked as a photographer for the Pittsburg Headlight and Sun newspaper and was a Pittsburg city policeman from 1948 to 1960. For more than 31 years he was a member of the U.S. Army Reserve, retiring as a command sergeant major. He was employed at the Army Reserve Center in Parsons until his retirement. He also served as secretary of the Parsons Masonic Lodge for 15 years.
He was a member of the First Christian Church of Parsons and of numerous Masonic related orders. For 64 years he had been a member of the Masonic Lodge, the Royal Arch Masons, the Knights Templar and the Shrine. His current memberships in those organizations were Parsons Lodge No. 117, A.F. & A.M., Parsons Chapter No. 39, Coeur de Lion Commandery No. 17 and the Mirza Shrine. He was a 50-year member of the Order of the Eastern Star, with his current membership in Rob Morris Chapter No. 74 in Pittsburg. He was a past patron of both the Rob Morris Chapter and Progress Chapter No. 49 in Parsons. He was past grand patron of the Order of Amaranth of Kansas. He was also a member of the Independence Council No. 15, the Fort Scott Consistory, the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars. In 1940 he served as state master councilor of the Order of DeMolay.
Survivors include his wife of the home in Enterprise, Ala.; three daughters, Donna Kay and John Smith of Enterprise, Ala., Nancy Jean and Gregg Hardeman of Newton and Martha Jane and Charles Swenson of Mound Valley; seven grandchildren, Ronald Hardeman, Brian Hardeman, Tony Smith, Tammy Batchelor, Teresa Kilcrease, Stephanie Scott and Debra Coleman; and eight great-grandchildren.
The service will be at 10:30 a.m. Monday at First Christian Church in Parsons. Masonic rites will be given at the church. Burial, with military honors, will be in the Garden of Memories Cemetery in Pittsburg at 2 p.m.
The family will receive friends from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Carson-Wall Funeral Home in Parsons.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are requested to either the First Christian Church of Parsons or the Mirza Temple Transportation Fund. They may be left at or sent to the funeral home, P.O. Box 942, Parsons, 67357.
Online condolences may be left at www.wallfuneralservices.com.